Abstract

This paper is a review of the analysis of color reception with the aid of electrophysiological methods. Microelectrodes have been inserted into the retina to record the discharge of impulses from single or a restricted number of elements in response to illumination with a spectrum of known energy distribution. From the electrodes leads have been taken to amplifier, cathode ray, and loudspeaker. In this manner it has been possible to obtain curves showing the distribution of sensitivity to spectral light of active elements in the eyes of mammals, amphibians, and fishes. Thomas Young’s conception, that the retina possesses elements sensitive to different regions of the spectrum, has been proved to be correct. A number of other results illustrate some fundamental properties of the mechanism of color reception.

© 1941 Optical Society of America

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