Angular sensitivity of blowfly photoreceptors: intracellular measurements and wave-optical predictions

J.G.J. Smakman, J.H. van Hateren, D.G. Stavenga

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    The angular sensitivity of blowfly photoreceptors was measured in detail at wavelengths λ = 355, 494 and 588 nm. The measured curves often showed numerous sidebands, indicating the importance of diffraction by the facet lens. The shape of the angular sensitivity profile is dependent on wavelength. The main peak of the angular sensitivities at the shorter wavelengths was flattened. This phenomenon as well as the overall shape of the main peak can be quantitatively described by a wave-optical theory using realistic values for the optical parameters of the lens-photoreceptor system. At a constant response level of 6 mV (almost dark adapted), the visual acuity of the peripheral cells R1-6 is at longer wavelengths mainly diffraction limited, while at shorter wavelengths the visual acuity is limited by the waveguide properties of the rhabdomere. Closure of the pupil narrows the angular sensitivity profile at the shorter wavelengths. This effect can be fully described by assuming that the intracellular pupil progressively absorbs light from the higher order modes. In light-adapted cells R1-6 the visual acuity is mainly diffraction limited at all wavelengths.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)239-247
    Aantal pagina's9
    TijdschriftJournal of Comparative Physiology A; Sensory Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
    Nummer van het tijdschrift2
    StatusPublished - 1984

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