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March 1973

Photochemistry of Vision, vol 7, pt 1 of Handbook of Sensory Physiology.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;89(3):263. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000040265030

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More than a decade ago, Ruth Hubbard and Allen Kropf arrived at the profound conclusion that the sole action of light in vision was to alter the isomeric form of the visual pigment chromophore from its 11-cis configuration to an all-trans species. We have yet to link this event or any of its thermal consequences with the electrical phenomena of signal transmission in photoreceptors, but these and related problems have attracted workers from many disciplines, and with them a variety of powerful analytic techniques. Nothing better illustrates this burgeoning interest than a comparison of Dartnall's monograph The Visual Pigments, published in 1957, with the 800-page tome he has edited for Springer-Verlag. The latter brings together the writings of 20 authors, all of whom have made important contributions to our understanding of the visual process and some of whom treat subjects that were still beyond the horizon in 1957. For example,

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