Université de Strasbourg

USIAS Fellows seminar - Seeing double? The twin functions of vision

June 26, 2018
From 15:30 until 17:00
Salle de Table Ronde, MISHA, 5 allée du Général Rouvillois, Strasbourg

Retina of the Arvicanthis - photo David Hicks

By David Hicks and Maarten Kamermans, USIAS Fellows 2015

For most animals - including humans - vision is the primary sense, allowing them to detect food, escape being eaten, find a partner, and other essentials. In humans, blindness is a terrible handicap which is increasingly prevalent due to an ageing population, and which presents an enormous economic cost. For many of the more frequent diseases causing blindness no real cures are available.

Major vision loss is due to degeneration of cones, which mediate high resolution human eyesight. Despite their critical importance, knowledge of cone pathophysiology is very incomplete, because there exist few mammalian species suitable for examining cone pathophysiology.

Rods and cones

Diurnal rodents offer unique advantages to tackling the problem, but many species are impossible to maintain in captivity. The diurnal species Arvicanthis ansorgei offers unique advantages to tackling the problem, and Strasbourg possesses the only breeding colony of diurnal in the world.

At the seminar, new insights into cone degeneration will be presented, based on their work with this diurnal species. However, eyes have another fundamentally important role which is still largely unknown: they allow us to keep the time, they are crucial to maintaining a proper circadian rhythm. The seminar will address this issue and explain how this works, and why modern lifestyles can lead to problems.


Followed by summer drinks on the roof terrace



France 2030