Light-Stimulated Electrical Responses from Skin

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Science  25 Nov 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3752, pp. 1051-1053
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3752.1051


When skin is exposed to an intense flash of light, an early electrical response can be detected from its surface. The signals that occur during the first milliseconds after the flash are similar to electrical signals recently observed in the eye from the cell layers containing melanin. Possibly the melanin in skin augments, but does not directly generate, this early electrical response. In addition, a late response, which arises hundreds of milliseconds after the flash, also occurs in skin. Unlike the early response, the late response is sensitive only to violet and shorter wavelengths of light and hence is probably mediated by a pigment other than melanin.

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