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Quantum and Non-Quantum Formulation of Eye’s Adaptation to Light’s Intensity Increments

DOI: 10.4236/wjcmp.2019.93005, PP. 62-74

Keywords: Biosignaling, Visible Light, Vision, Intensity Increment

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Context and background: A quantum formulation of vision in vertebrates was proposed in the early 1940s. The number of quanta useful for enabling vision was found. The time interval required for their absorption, however, was never specified. In the early 1950s, experimental data on the effects of light’s intensity increment on vision indicated that the quantum formulation is true only at low light’s intensities. In this case, a vaguely described signaling adaptation mechanism was invoked to explain the separation between vision at low and high intensities, accompanied by the switch from rod to cones as photoreceptors. Motivation: In this article, we want to prove the validity of the non-totally-quantum formulation and unveil the nature of the signaling adaptation mechanism. Hypothesis: To accomplish our proof, we hypothesize that the amount of energy transferred and conserved in light’s interaction with the eyes is given by the product of light’s intensity (or power) times its period. Method: We construct and use the plots of the trends of light’s intensity increments and the corresponding changes in the axon’s membrane capacitance versus adapting intensity. Results: We find that 1) the average solar light’s intensity is the critical value that separates low from high light’s intensity regimes in vision, and 2) changes in the capacitance of the axon’s membrane enable the signaling adaptation of vision when light’s intensity changes. Conclusions: We prove the validity of the non-totally-quantum formulation and unveil the nature of the signaling adaptation mechanism. Our proof is supported by the model based on light’s intensity times period as being the energy conserved in light-matter interaction This model suggests that 1) all the waves in the electromagnetic spectrum, at the correct intensity for each frequency, could be used to produce the effects of optogenetics in diagnostics and therapy, and 2) it takes seconds to minutes to see details in the dark when light is switched off.


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