The visual sensitivity of the retina of the conger eel.

R. Shapley, J. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measured the visual sensitivity of the conger eel retina by means of its electroretinogram (e.r.g.) and whole nerve responses. The spectral sensitivity of the retina closely corresponded to a prediction based on the density spectrum of the conger visual pigment, measured in situ. The pigment density in the conger eel retina is high, perhaps as high as 1.0. Thus, the predicted spectral sensitivity would be much broader than is observed if the absorption spectrum of the pigment governed the visual sensitivity. The reason why the visual spectral sensitivity corresponds to the density spectrum and not to the absorption spectrum is that the photoreceptors in the conger eye are arranged in tiers and only the inner tier contributes to vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-330
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing papers of a Biological character. Royal Society (Great Britain)
Issue number1175
StatePublished - Aug 13 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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