Photoreceptors pp 119-127 | Cite as

Light-Induced Voltage Fluctuations in Barnacle Photoreceptors

  • E. Kaplan
  • A. Mauro
  • S. Poitry
Part of the NATO Asi Series book series (NSSA, volume 75)


The transduction of light quanta into an electrical signal is not understood. However, in several arthropod photoreceptors this transduction process was shown to be associated with the appearance of discrete waves in the membrane potential, the so called ‘quantal bumps’ (in Limulus: Yeandle, 1957, and Adolph, 1964; in locust: Scholes, 1965; in the fly, Musca: Kirschfeld, 1965; in Drosophila: Wu and Pak, 1978). In the Limulus photoreceptors, where the quantal bumps were first observed, it was shown that the receptor potential is the superposition of the elementary responses which are initiated by the absorption of single quanta (Yeandle and Fuortes, 1964; Dodge et al, 1968). Wu and Pak reached similar conclusions for Drosophila photoreceptors (1978).


Elementary Event Voltage Noise Voltage Fluctuation Discrete Wave Bright Illumination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adolph, A. R. (1964). Spontaneous slow potential fluctuation in the Limulus, photoreceptor, J. Gen. Physiol., 48, 297 - 322.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borsellino, A., Fuortes, M.G.F. and Smith, T.G. (1965). Visual responses in Limulus, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant.Biol., 30, 429 - 443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dodge, F. A., Knight, B. W. and Toyoda, J. (1968). Voltage noise in Limulus visual cells. Science, 160, 88 - 90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fain, G. L., Gold, H. G. and Dowling, J. E. (1976). Receptor coupling in the Toad retina. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol., 40, 547 - 561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fuortes, M. G. F. and Yeandle, S. (1964). Probability of occurrence of discrete potential waves in the eye of Limulus, J. Gen. Physiol., 47, 443 - 463.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hagins, W. A. (1965). Electrical signs of information flow in photoreceptors, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol., 30, 403 - 418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hudspeth, J. and Stewart, A. (1977). Morphology and responses to light of the somata, axons, and terminal regions of individual photoreceptors of the giant barnacle, J. Physiol., 272, 1–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Katz, D. and Miledi, R. (1972). The statistical nature of the acetylcholine potential and its molecular components, J. Physiol., 224, 665 - 699.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Kirschfeld, K. (1966). Discrete and graded receptor potentials in the compound eye of the fly (Musca), in: “The functional organization of the compound eye”, Bernhard, C. G. ed., pp. 291–309, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  10. Koike, H., Brown, M. H. and Hagiwara, S. (1971). Hyperpolarization of a barnacle photoreceptor membrane following illumination. Gen. Physiol., 57, 723 - 737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martin, A. R. (1955). A further study of the statistical composition of the end-plate potential, J. Physiol., 130, 114 - 122.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Milkman, N., Shapley, R. and Schick, G. (1978). A microcomputer- based visual stimulator, Behav. Res. Meth. and Instr., 10, 539 - 545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Payne, R. (1981). Suppression of noise in a photoreceptor by oxidative metabolism, J. Comp. Physiol., 142, 181 - 188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Scholes, J. (1965). Discontinuity of the excitation process in locust visual cells. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol., 30, 517 - 527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Shaw, S. R. (1972). Decremental conduction of the visual signal in barnacle lateral eye, J. Physiol., 220, 145 - 175.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Wu, C. F. and Pack, W. L. (1978). Light - induced voltage noise in the photoreceptor of Drosophila melanogaster, J. Gen. Physiol.. 71, 249 - 268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Yeandle, S. (1957). Studies on the slow potential and the effects of cation on the electrical responses of the Limulus ommatidium, Thesis, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Kaplan
    • 1
  • A. Mauro
    • 1
  • S. Poitry
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations