For many years, we have been interested in elucidating the mechanism underlying the phototransduction process. By phototransduction we mean that process by which light signals from the environment are converted to electrical signals across the photoreceptor membrane, or, put another way, the process by which light signals modulate the permeability of the photoreceptor membrane to certain inorganic ions. The problem is of interest to many neuro-biologists because the sensory transduction process is one of the basic unsolved problems in cellular neurophysiology and also because the study of phototransduction may provide insight into other neuronal excitation phenomena, all of which involve alterations in the membrane permeability to ions. In this discussion, we will forego detailed discussions of the results that have already been published (see review: Pak, 1979) and concentrate on more recent ones even though many of them are still in a preliminary form.
KeywordsVisual Pigment Photoreceptor Membrane Photoreceptor Function Blue Stimulus Vertebrate Photoreceptor
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