New Type of Night Vision Found
In a lab shrouded in darkness, scientists looking at mouse retinas discovered something eye-popping.
Animals in darkness need to adjust their eyes to navigate a host of situations, whether they’re straining to see the galaxy next door or avoiding being turned into dinner. In most cases, the light-sensing machinery in eyes changes to take in more of the meager photons available when lighting is dim.
But a new study shows that mice, at least, have a different trick up their furry sleeves: a type of night vision keyed to motion. Described this week in the journal Neuron, the research suggests that one type of eye cell allows mice to be a bit more sensitive to movement in general when it’s dark out, which likely helps them avoid nocturnal predators. That cell type lives