This is the first entry in the category, 100 Papers You Should Read (in vision science). It is a concept borrowed from Robert Marc in a series of lab meetings he held. Those lab meetings were so valuable in contextualizing current understanding of vision science that we would like to share some of the papers discussed in them with you. There will be a new manuscript posted here every two weeks in the hopes of generating discussion and helping to show where we have come from in vision science.
The first manuscript in this series is Detection and Resolution of Visual Stimuli (full text pdf, free from The Journal of Physiology) by Denis Baylor and Alan Hodgkin. At the time of this publication, Denis Baylor was associate professor at the University of Colorado Medical Center. This work however came out of his time working in the Cambridge lab of Nobel Laureate Alan Hodgkin after having come from Michael Fuortes’ laboratory at the NIH. The Hodgkin lab at the time was perhaps the greatest physiology lab in the world and the two years that Baylor spent in Hodgkin’s laboratory were a landmark in crafting our understanding of photoreception. As you will see, the thought, experimentation and analysis in these papers is incredibly lucid and it is a joy to read.