Abstract

Some species of fish are able to discriminate, in addition to intensity and wavelength (color), the direction of polarization of visible light. Optical experiments on axially oriented retinal cones from trout and sunfish with use of two types of polarization microscope indicate anisotropic light transmission through paired cones. The measured linear birefringence of paired cone ellipsoids is consistent with the presence of membranous partitions. It is proposed that the partition between the two members of a paired cone, which often appears extensive and flat, functions as a dielectric mirror and that polarization-dependent reflection and refraction at this partition constitutes the underlying mechanism in the transduction of polarization into intensity variation at the photoreceptor’s outer segments. We support this hypothesis with linear birefringence and linear dichroism measurements, histological evidence, large-scale optical model measurements, and theoretical calculations based on Fresnel’s formulas.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (8)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (1)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (6)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription