Some Observations on the Structure of Receptor Outer Limbs

  • R. A. Weale
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 24)


Two optical properties are associated with the laminar structure of rods and cones: on the one hand the receptors exhibit birefringence (Schmidt, 1938), on the other their visual pigment molecules, believed to be oriented within these layers, show linear dichroism (Denton, 1959; Liebman, 1962; Strackee, 1971): they absorb light polarised perpendicularly to the axis appreciably more than light polarised parallel to it. The birefringence of the receptors per se is best studied in fully bleached material because, as follows even from Drude’s dispersion formulae, linear dichroism leads to linear birefringence, a point to be returned to later.


Laminar Structure Linear Dichroism Linear Birefringence Frog Retina Bleached Material 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Weale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological OpticsInstitute of OphthalmologyLondonEngland

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