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July 1953

EFFECT OF RETROCHIASMAL LESION UPON VARIABILITY OF THE ABSOLUTE VISUAL THRESHOLD

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Neurology of the Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, New York University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1953;70(1):70-76. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1953.02320310076006
Abstract

THIS PAPER presents data which show that the absolute visual threshold for light perception is significantly affected by processes other than retinal photochemistry. Specifically, it will be suggested that fluctuations in the absolute visual threshold are, in part, determined by neural factors. Such a suggestion is consonant with the view that threshold variability reflects physiological fluctuation and not fluctuation in the quantal emission by a stimulus. In other words, it will be maintained that threshold variability lies within the organism and not within the stimulus.

This point of view has been championed by Crozier1 in relation to vision, but it is not held universally. For example, after demonstrating that only one quantum need be absorbed by only 5 to 14 rods of the human retina to produce the visual threshold event in the fully dark-adapted eye, Hecht, Shlaer, and Pirenne2 concluded that "at threshold it is the stimulus

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