Circadian photoperception

Annu Rev Physiol. 2001;63:677-94. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.63.1.677.


The circadian clock is intrinsically linked to the daily cycle of day and night. A capacity for entrainment to light-dark cycles has proven to be a universal feature of the clock in all organisms examined. Here we review a wealth of recent advances that reveal more about the light input mechanisms by which the circadian clock is set to the correct time in a range of different systems. Now that we are identifying more of the molecular components of both the light input pathway and the clock mechanism itself, we are becoming increasingly less able to distinguish between the two.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Dinoflagellida
  • Drosophila
  • Neurospora
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*