Multiunit activity (MUA) was recorded from thr pineal gland in unanesthetized male Japenese quail. The influence of light regimen on spontaneous and flash-evoked firing patterns of pineal cells was investigated. Shortening the day length from 18 to 6 h/24 h resulted in a marked increase in pineal MUA. Pineal firing rate was higher during the dark than during the light fraction of the photoperiod. Flashlight stimulation always led to a marked inhibition of the pineal MUA. Cutting the optic nerves bilaterally resulted in a marked increase in the level of MUA. None of the experimental conditions altered the elevated MUA in blinded birds. Thus, photoperiod and light stimulation appeared to be important for pineal activity; however, no direct photosended quail. Superior cervical ganglionectomy resulted in slightly increased spontaneous MUA but did not inhibit pineal responses to flashlight stimulations.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society