Circadian regulation of visually evoked potentials in the domestic pigeon, Columba livia

Wen Qi Wu, Jennifer M. McGoogan, Vincent M. Cassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The avian circadian and visual systems are integrally related and together influence many aspects of birds' behavior and physiology. Certainly, light cycles and their visual perception are the major zeitgebers for circadian rhythms, but do circadian rhythms affect vision? To assess whether visual function is regulated on a circadian basis, flash-evoked electroretinograms (ERGs) and vision-evoked potentials (VEPs) from the optic rectum (TeO) were recorded simultaneously in domestic pigeons at different circadian phases in a light-dark regime (LD) and in constant darkness (DD), while feeding activity was measured to determine circadian phase. In both LD and DD, the amplitudes of ERG b-waves were higher during the day than at night and latencies of a- and b-waves were longer at night. The median effective intensity for ERG a-wave was marginally higher during the day than during the night, indicating greater sensitivity at night, but this rhythm did not persist in DD. The amplitudes of TeO VEPs were also greater during the day, and latencies were greater at night in LD and DD. Together, the data indicate that a circadian clock regulates pigeon visual function at several integrative levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Rhythms
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2000


  • Circadian
  • Electroretinogram
  • Optic tectum
  • Pigeon
  • Retina
  • Visual evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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