Vision and Sleep

Studies in vertebrates and Drosophila have indicated links between accumulation of visual signals to both sleep quality and quantity. Recent reports also shows that day length modifies sleep efficiency and that a functional visual system is required for such improvement. Our preliminary investigation has identified key genes underlying visually-promoted sleep in Drosophila. We plan to use the latest fly behavioural genetics and live imaging methods to confirm this finding, and to explore wider molecular and neural mechanisms by which the visual system facilitates sleep.  We are also investigating sleep disruption in the vision disorder, Nystagmus. 

Drosophila optomotor response

Presynatic sites of Drosophila photoreceptors.