Inert Absorbing and Reflecting Pigments

  • W. R. A. Muntz
Part of the Handbook of Sensory Physiology book series (SENSORY, volume 7 / 1)


One of the most striking early correlations between physiology and behaviour was König’s (1894) demonstration that human scotopic spectral sensitivity resembled the spectral absorptive characteristics (difference spectrum) of a pigment — visual purple, or rhodopsin — that he extracted from the human retina. Later comparisons between such functions (e.g. Hecht and Williams, 1922; Dartnall and Goodeve, 1937; Wald, 1938; Crescitelli and Dartnall, 1953; Dartnall, 1953; Wald and Brown, 1958; Weale, 1961; Dartnall, 1961) have amply confirmed König’s hypothesis. No one today doubts that the photosensitive pigments in retinal receptors mediate vision, and the sophisticated comparisons that are now possible serve rather to give some insight into the nature of the visual process.


Mercury Hexagonal Retina Dehydration Stratification 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • W. R. A. Muntz
    • 1
  1. 1.BrightonUK

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