Research Topic

The Pupil: Behavior, Anatomy, Physiology and Clinical Biomarkers

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The pupil response is more than a simple light evoked reflex. At any moment, the pupil diameter reflects the activity of complex neurological pathways to changes in the environmental illumination and autonomic activity through parasympathetic and sympathetic innervations. A mobile pupil also modulates retinal ...

The pupil response is more than a simple light evoked reflex. At any moment, the pupil diameter reflects the activity of complex neurological pathways to changes in the environmental illumination and autonomic activity through parasympathetic and sympathetic innervations. A mobile pupil also modulates retinal illumination and enhances visual performance by affecting depth of focus and optical aberrations. This Research Topic will therefore highlight the latest research on external and internal influences on pupillary responses in humans and animal models. Studies of afferent pathways can include investigations of classical (rod and cone) photoreceptors and the melanopsin expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC). There will be an emphasis on the non-invasive measurement of the pupil as a clinically significant neurological marker of autonomic, midbrain and central brain function and on discoveries presented by leading experts at the 32nd international Pupil Colloquium in Switzerland. Consequently, this Research Topic will bring together in one place the latest understanding of the afferent and efferent pupil control pathways, pharmacological effects on pupil function and the influence of non-photic control factors, including cognition and attention, sleepiness and circadian processing.


Keywords: Pupil, iris, eye, melanopsin, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, autonomic, central nervous system, anatomy, physiology, biomarker, attention, cognitive modulation


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