A Visual Pigment with Two Physiologically Active Stable States

Red illumination of a Balanus amphitrite photoreceptor that has been adapted to blue light leads to prolonged depolarization in the late receptor potential. This depolarization can be switched off by further exposure to a blue stimulus. The early receptor potential in this cell is purely depolarizing or largely hyperpolarizing; the former is true if the cell has been adapted to red light, and the latter, if blue light has been used. The color-adaptation “memories” for both early and late receptor potentials appear to be permanent. The existence of two stable states for the early receptor potential directly implies a pigment with two stable states, and these apparently contribute antagonistically to the late receptor potential.

Authors: Hillman, P., S. Hochstein and B. Minke
Year of publication: 1972
Journal: Science, Vol. 175, Issue 4029, pp. 1486-1488

Link to publication:


“Working memory”