The action of light on the retina: Translation and commentary of Holmgren (1866)

Leila Kantola, Marco Piccolino, Nicholas J. Wade (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 1866, Holmgren published an account of the physiological action of light on the retina. The article is taken as the origin of research on the electroretinogram, although the term was not introduced until much later. We present a translation of the article into English and provide a commentary on its reception and significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-415
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the History of the Neurosciences
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2019



  • Dewar
  • Holmgren
  • McKendrick
  • electroretinogram
  • light
  • retina

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