The developing and evolving retina: using time to organize form

Brain Res. 2008 Feb 4;1192:5-16. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.005. Epub 2007 Jul 14.


Evolutionary and other functional accounts of the retina and its normal development highlight different aspects of control of its growth and form than genomic and mechanistic accounts. Discussing examples from opsin expression, developmental regulation of the eye's size and optical quality, regulation of eye size with respect to brain and body size, and the development of the fovea, these different aspects of control are contrasted. Contributions of mouse models, particularly with regard to relative timing of events in different species are reviewed, introducing a Web-based utility for exploration of timing issues ( Variation at the individual level, in early experience, and also across species is an essential source of information to understand normal development and its pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Dark Adaptation / genetics
  • Fovea Centralis / cytology
  • Fovea Centralis / embryology
  • Fovea Centralis / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / growth & development
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / embryology*
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Rod Opsins / genetics*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Rod Opsins