The rods and cones of your retina may have help. Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells –the name trips right off your tongue, does it not?– might contribute to conscious vision.
Research over the past decade has shown that they play an important role in reflexive responses to light, such as pupil constriction and regulation of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. But they did not appear to be involved in vision.
In July, however, researchers reported in the journal Neuron that the stringy extensions, or axons, of mRGCs extend into parts of the mouse brain involved in conscious vision, not just the parts of the brain that control unconscious responses to light. The latest study confirms that finding and suggests that mRGCs enable mice to sense the brightness of their surroundings.
OMG! My hypothesis is that, in humans, mRGCs have recently evolved to help spot acronyms. DAMHIKT…