Circadian clocks are molecular timekeepers encountered in a wide variety of organisms, which allow to adapt the cell's metabolism and behavior to the daily and seasonal periods. Their function is regulated by light-sensing proteins, among which Vivid, a light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) sensitive domain of the fungus Neurospora crassa, constitutes one of the most prominent examples. Although the major photochemical and structural changes during the photocycle of this photosensor have been elucidated through experimental means, its signal transduction pathway is still poorly resolved at the molecular level. In this article, we show through molecular dynamics simulation that the primary steps after adduct formation involve a switch of Gln182 in vicinity of the chromophore FAD (flavin–adenine–dinucleotide), followed by a coupling between the Iβ- and Hβ-strands through H-bond formation between Gln182 and Asn161 as well as subsequent weakening of the H-bonding interaction between the Iβ- and Aβ-strands. These processes then induce a reorientation of the Aβ-Bβ-loop with respect to the protein core as well as a simultaneous contraction of the partially unfolded α-helix onto the α-Aβ-linker at the Ncap. Finally, we demonstrate through additional dimer simulations that the light-induced conformational changes, observed in the monomeric case, play a decisive role in controlling the dimerization tendency of Vivid with its partner domains and that the light-state homodimer shows a much larger affinity for aggregation than the dark state. Proteins 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.