DHA and the Eye


Explore the anatomy of a baby`s eye from the outer features, such as the cornea, to the molecules that comprise the inner lining. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays a key role as a structural and signaling component in cell membranes in the brain and eye.

Just as babies learn a language, they also "learn" to see, to pick out borders and backgounds, and "read" shadows and symmetry. The apparatus of the eye (iris, pupil, cornea, lens and muscles) work together to focus ilght on the retina, which is rich in nerve cells. The remarkable retina is a sheet of tissue that converts light energy into nerve signals so precisely we can see specks of floating dust. The retina is made of several different layers, but is still only 1/100th of an inch thick. The retina can rightly claim to be part of te brain.

Cells called rods allow us to see in dim light, while cones enable us to see in sharp detail and distinguish millions of different color shades. There are about 120 million of the long and slender rod cells and some 6-7 million of the fatter cone cells in the retina. Nature is very fond of folded membranes. The outer segments of rods are filled with stacks of discs packed with a light-sensitive protein. The protein rhodopsin transforms the energy of photons into nerve signals that carry the visual news of the world into our perception.


Related Interactives

Your Baby's Defenses
Your Baby's Defenses
Calcium and Bone Health
Calcium and Bone Health
DHA and ARA Concentrations in the Brain
DHA and ARA Concentrations in the ...
Brain Growth from Birth to 14 Months
Brain Growth from Birth to 14 ...
Adult Versus Infant Skin close up
Adult Versus Infant Skin close up