Endocrine modulation of retinal sensitivity in Hyla cinerea

January 3 – Febuary 28, 2021

Meeting Abstract

BSP-8-3  Sun Jan 3 17:00 – 17:15  Endocrine modulation of retinal sensitivity in Hyla cinerea Walkowski, WG*; Santana, A; Gaston, T; Gordon, WC; Bazan, NG; Farris, H; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center wwalko@lsuhsc.edu

Many behavior patterns that are strongly modulated by hormones, such as mate choice, are mediated by vision. Yet, little is known about the effect of reproductive hormones on the retina, which is critical to understanding how visual signals are processed during these behaviors. This project examined the effects of reproductive status on retinal spectral sensitivity or the ability to detect different wavelengths associated with visual signals. Our hypothesis is that hormones modulate stimulus sensitivity in the retina during reproductively receptive phases, ultimately influencing mate choice behavior through modulation of color vision. We tested the effect that hormones have on color vision using the green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea), which detect and respond to wavelengths spanning (and beyond) the human visible light spectrum. Experiments used electroretinograms (ERGs) to compare stimulus threshold and response amplitude in the retina of reproductive and non-reproductive female frogs. Additionally, we compared retinal activation before and after treatment with exogenous hormones. Our findings indicated that for females reproductive state and hormone injections cause an increase in spectral sensitivity to particular ranges of wavelengths. These results supprt the potential for functional consequences of endocrine modulation on particular visual signal components used during mate choice.

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