Visual Pathway Mediating Pineal Response to Environmental Light

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Science  13 Jan 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3759, pp. 220-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3759.220


Activity of the melatoninforming enzyme, hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase, in rat pineal is increased when the animal is exposed to continuous darkness, and it is decreased by exposure to continuous light. Response to environmental light is initiated in the retina and transmitted to the pineal by way of the central nervous system and the cervical sympathetics. The central visual pathway essential for mediation of this response is the inferior accessory optic tract. Visual pathways to thalamus and tectum do not participate in this response.

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