Keffer Hartline

Facts

Haldan Keffer Hartline

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Haldan Keffer Hartline
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1967

Born: 22 December 1903, Bloomsburg, PA, USA

Died: 17 March 1983, Fallston, MD, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye."

Prize share: 1/3

Work

Our vision functions because light from the surrounding world is captured by many light-sensitive cells in the retina at the back of the eye. A series of reconnections and transformations of chemical and electrical signals finally result in visual impressions. In studies of the horseshoe crab around 1950, Keffer Hartline analyzed how the primary signals from visual cells are processed in a network of nerve cells. Among other things, he showed that when a cell is stimulated, signals from surrounding cells are suppressed. This makes it easier to understand the concept of contrasts.

To cite this section
MLA style: Keffer Hartline – – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Sat. 15 Jun 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1967/hartline/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.