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December 1963

Electrical Recordings From Isolated Mammalian Retina Mounted as a Membrane

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School and the Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;70(6):837-841. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960050839020

Introduction  The retina is a versatile experimental tissue as it incorporates three phenomena of fundamental biological interest: (1) photoreception; (2) transduction, with remarkable amplification, of the photochemical event into a neural event; (3) neural processing of the information thus received—involving such fundamental mechanisms as inhibitory and excitatory cross connections, spontaneous activity and rhythmic activity. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying these various phenomena is greatly facilitated if they can be studied in vitro. This permits the investigator to define precisely and to modify experimentally the milieu of the tissue. It makes it possible to observe the tissue (electrically, chemically, and spectrophotometrically) while it is functioning and to remove it at any instant for chemical and morphological examination.It is remarkable that a tissue of such great biological interest as the retina is almost uniquely suited to isolation and maintenance in the in vitro state. It exists naturally as an extremely thin

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