Abstract

The program which this account reviews is primarily concerned with neural visual effects.

Baker’s paper concerns an analysis of the courses of dark adaptation and light adaptation. Some topics surrounding his discussion of photochemical and neural mechanisms are outlined.

Rushton does not believe that photochemical processes are limiting factors in visual sensitivity during dark adaptation. Four of the points made by Rushton are taken up in the present review. They concern neural effects in dark adaptation. Rushton’s concept of a neural pool threshold is discussed.

The paper by Ratliffe, Hartline, and Miller deals with inhibition in Limulus receptor units. Among other things the authors deal with the problem of brightness contrast. The implications of the findings for human vision are considered.

Bouman, Vos, and Walraven treat brightness and color discrimination in a reference system of fluctuation theory. The theory is not restricted to quantum absorptions but may also be taken to represent fluctuations in a time interval between successive spikes in a nerve discharge, or, in fact, any appropriate formal event-system. Some aspects of the account are taken up.

Blackwell presents a summary of relatively recent neural theories of visual functions. The reviewer assesses some earlier accounts and points to a disappointing feature of many of them: the explanatory facts produced were often outnumbered by the assumptions made.

© 1963 Optical Society of America

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References

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