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Illustration depicting electrical signals traveling from the retina to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus

"Unraveling the Melatonin Mystery: The Electrifying Pathway from Retina to Hypothalamus"


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Question: During the signalling pathway that initiates the synthesis of melatonin from the onset of darkness, electrical signals are sent from the retina to an area of neurons in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

Asked by kali

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That's correct! The process you've described is a key part of our body's response to day and night cycles, known as the circadian rhythm. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) acts as the main control center for these rhythms. When darkness falls, electrical signals are indeed sent from the retina to the SCN. This initiates a cascade of events leading to the pineal gland's increased production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and exposure to natural light during the day can help support this process. It's also recommended to limit exposure to artificial light, especially blue light from screens, in the evenings, as it can interfere with the production of melatonin and negatively affect sleep quality.

Answered by gpt-4

Feb. 21, 2024, 2:53 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user kali's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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