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March 1959

Electric Response of the Phakic and Aphakic Human Eye to Stimulation with Near Ultraviolet

Author Affiliations

Iowa City; Boston
From the Department of Ophthalmology, State University of Iowa College of Medicine. Clinical Fellow, The Retina Foundation, Boston (Dr. Ziv).

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;61(3):347-350. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.00940090349001

The spectral sensitivity of the human eye depends upon the sensitivity of the retinal elements. However, in the intact human eye the composition of the radiant energy reaching the retina is such that its sensitivity in the violet and near ultraviolet can not be evaluated fully by psychophysical methods. Owing to the absorption of the near ultraviolet by the yellow crystalline lens, which has a rather sharp cut-off at 400 mμ, ultraviolet radiation generally reaches the retina only in minimal quantities.

In one of his most remarkable papers. Wald1 has shown, among other things, that with the removal of the lens the eye gains enormously in sensitivity in the violet and ultraviolet. Whereas in the intact human eye the sensitivity of the fovea declines at 365 mμ to 1/40,000 of its maximal value at 562 mμ, aphakic rod-and-cone vision is still about 1/30 as sensitive at 365 mμ as

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