The hyperopic effect of narrow-band long-wavelength light in tree shrews increases non-linearly with duration

Academic Article


  • During postnatal refractive development, an emmetropization mechanism uses refractive error to modulate the growth rate of the eye. Hyperopia (image focused behind the retina) produces what has been described as “GO” signaling that increases growth. Myopia (image focused in front of the retina) produces “STOP” signaling that slows growth. The interaction between GO and STOP conditions is non-linear; brief daily exposure to STOP counteracts long periods of GO. In young tree shrews, long-wavelength (red) light, presented 14 h per day, also appears to produce STOP signals. We asked if red light also shows temporal non-linearity; does brief exposure slow the normal decrease in hyperopia in infant animals? At 11 days after eye opening (DVE), infant tree shrews (n = 5/group) began 13 days of daily treatment (red LEDs, 624 ± 10 or 636 ± 10 nm half peak intensity bandwidth) at durations of 0 h (normal animals, n = 7) or 1, 2, 4, or 7 h. Following each daily red period, colony lighting resumed. A 14 h red group had no colony lights. Refractive state was measured daily; ocular component dimensions at the end of the 13-day red-light period. Even 1 h of red light exposure produced some hyperopia. The average hyperopic shift from normal rose exponentially with duration (time constant 2.5 h). Vitreous chamber depth decreased non-linearly with duration (time constant, 3.3 h). After red treatment was discontinued, refractions in colony lighting recovered toward normal; the initial rate was linearly related to the amount of hyperopia. The red light may produce STOP signaling similar to myopic refractive error.
  • Published In

  • Vision Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ward AH; Norton TT; Huisingh CE; Gawne TJ
  • Start Page

  • 9
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 146-147