Nicolás Cuenca's Lab

University of Alicante
Department of Physiology, Genetics and Microbiology

The Retina: where vision starts

The retina is a translucent filmy piece of tissue lining the back of the eyeball. The multiple layers of interconnected neurons in this thin slab of neural tissue are in charge of the first of steps of vision. Cones and rods absorb the incident light. The phototransduction mechanisms housed in the outer segments of these cells, transduce light into electrical signals that are relayed on to bipolar cells, in the first synaptic layer of the retina called outer plexiform layer. Visual information is processed further at the following layer where amacrine cells form a second complex network of synaptic interconnections the inner plexiform layer. Lastly, visual information is conveyed to the ganglion cells and exits the eye along the optic nerve in its way to the brain. Each species have the retina adapted to light conditions dependent on whether the animal lives in diurnal or nocturnal habitats.

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RETORNA proposes breakthrough research, distributed in 10 individual projects, performed by 10 Doctoral candidates in the following countries: Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Türkiye, Germany, and Italy. DC4 and DC8 will be hired by UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE (UA) and work mainly in the lab in Alicante, with various secondments in the RETORNA consortium. 2 Doctoral Candidate positions (DC4 and DC8) at UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE (UA) are available in the framework of the