Letter | Published:

The Rotating Pendulum and the State of Adaptation of the Eye

Nature volume 142, pages 615616 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



THE experiments of Lythgoe1 on the rotating pendulum show that the latent period of the eye is not directly related to the brightness perception of a viewed object. The latent period seems to be more closely related to the sensitivity of the eye: with higher sensitivity it is mostly longer, with lower sensitivity shorter. Lythgoe was led to assume that nervous interaction tends to shorten the latent period. Crawford2 states that the effect is almost entirely in accord with the hypothesis that the latent period varies in the same sense as the concentration of photochemical substance in the retina, and concludes that the effect might therefore provide a simple measure of the concentration of photochemical substance in the retina.

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  1. 1.

    , NATURE, 141, 474 (1938).

  2. 2.

    , NATURE, 141, 792 (1938).

  3. 3.

    , and , Proc. Kon. Acad. Wet., 40, 376 (1937).

  4. 4.

    , "Visueele meting van adaptatie en van de weder-zijdsche beinvloeding van netvlieselementen". Ac. Thesis, Utrecht, 1937.

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  1. Natuurkundig Laboratorium der N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken, Eindhoven. July 29.

    • J. F. SCHOUTEN


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