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Sensory Communication$
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Walter A. Rosenblith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262518420

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262518420.001.0001

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History and Present Status of Quantum Theory in Vision

History and Present Status of Quantum Theory in Vision

Chapter:
(p.376) (p.377) 21 History and Present Status of Quantum Theory in Vision
Source:
Sensory Communication
Author(s):

M. A. Bouman

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262518420.003.0021

This chapter presents a review of the development of quantum-statistical theories for visual functions such as absolute thresholds for steady and moving targets, contrast thresholds, visual acuity, adaptation, and color identification. Soon after the corpuscular nature of light was discovered by Planck, the minimum perceptible amount of light for human vision was compared with the energy of the quantum of light. At about the same time as the discovery of the quantum, fairly accurate measurements were made by different investigators of this minimum perceptible. It is argued in this chapter that, for each state of adaptation, the nerve system in the retina sets an organizational pattern through which action potentials can find their way to the higher centers. Instability phenomena in color identification and dependence of visual acuity on brightness are also discussed with reference to quantum-statistical approaches.

Keywords:   quantum-statistical theories, visual functions, absolute thresholds, contrast thresholds, visual acuity, adaptation, color identification

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