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Vision Res. 2010 Mar 17;50(6):598-605. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.01.006. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Consensual pupillary light response in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans).

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Department of Biology and Neuroscience Program, 311 Kunkel Hall, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042, United States.


Purpose of this study was to determine if the turtle has a consensual pupillary light response (cPLR), and if so, to compare it to its direct pupillary light response (dPLR). One eye was illuminated with different intensities of light over a four log range while keeping the other eye in darkness. In the eye directly illuminated, pupil diameter was reduced by as much as approximately 31%. In the eye not stimulated by light, pupil diameter was also reduced but less to approximately 11%. When compared to the directly illuminated eye, this generated a ratio, cPLR-dPLR, equal to 0.35. Ratio of slopes for log/linear fits to plots of pupil changes versus retinal irradiance for non-illuminated (-1.27) to illuminated (-3.94) eyes closely matched at 0.32. cPLR had time constants ranging from 0.60 to 1.20min; however, they were comparable and not statistically different from those of the dPLR, which ranged from 1.41 to 2.00min. Application of mydriatic drugs to the directly illuminated eye also supported presence of a cPLR. Drugs reduced pupil constriction by approximately 9% for the dPLR and slowed its time constant to 9.58min while simultaneous enhancing constriction by approximately 6% for the cPLR. Time constant for the cPLR at 1.75min, however, was not changed. Results support that turtle possesses a cPLR although less strong than its dPLR.

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