Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Direct (via the skull) and indirect (via the eyes) light on the rate of adaptation of circadian rhythms of pineal, retina and serum indoleamines and of locomotor activity was examined by observing photoperiod reversal in eye covered and normally sighted chickens. Eye covering did not affect indoleamine levels nor locomotor activity on the regular light:dark (L:D) cycle. However, following photoperiod reversal, the eye covered chickens showed slower rates of adaptation of retinal melatonin and locomotor activity to the new L:D cycle than did the normal sighted chickens. Pineal and serum indole levels were unaffected by eye covering. Our results in birds indicate that 1) light to the eye has a role in governing retinal melatonin and locomotor activity, 2) the pineal is directly photosensitive, and 3) the endogenous rhythm of pineal melatonin may play a role in the reentrainment of the locomotor rhythm in the chicken.
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