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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2006 Feb;192(2):187-97. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

Phototransduction in primate cones and blowfly photoreceptors: different mechanisms, different algorithms, similar response.

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Department of Neurobiophysics, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, NL-9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Phototransduction in primate cones is compared with phototransduction in blowfly photoreceptor cells. Phototransduction in the two cell types utilizes not only different molecular mechanisms, but also different signal processing steps, producing range compression, contrast constancy, and an intensity-dependent integration time. The dominant processing step in the primate cone is a strongly compressive nonlinearity due to cGMP hydrolysis by phosphodiesterase. In the blowfly photoreceptor a considerable part of the range compression is performed by the nonlinear membrane of the cell. Despite these differences, both photoreceptor cell types are similarly effective in compressing the wide range of naturally occurring intensities, and in converting intensity variations into contrast variations. A direct comparison of the responses to a natural time series of intensities, simulated in the cone and measured in the blowfly photoreceptor, shows that the responses are quite similar.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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