Nonlocal interactions in the photoreceptor transduction process.

We have recently demonstated the dissection of the transduction process in the barnacle photoreceptor into antagonistic “excitor” and “inhibitor” processes. We now show that (a) the interaction between the two processes proceeds even when they are induced in different pigment molecules; (b) the excitor process appears to be slightly facilitated if those pigment molecular unaffected by the stimulus are in the stable metarhodopsin state or slightly inhibited if they are in the rhodopsin state; (c) there is a facilitatory interaction among the excitor processes induced in different pigment molecules. In case a, the interaction has a range of at least a few hundred angstroms, taking place in a time of less than a fraction of a second; in cases b and c, the range could be as little as “nearest neighbors” and the time as much as a few seconds. All these interactions could be intermediated by the “excitor” if it is a transmitter.

Authors: Hillman, P.S. Hochstein, and B. Minke
Year of publication: 1976
Journal: Journal of General Physiology, vol. 68 no. 2 227-245

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“Working memory”