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Haldan Keffer Hartline
Born December 22, 1903
Died March 17, 1983
Nationality United States
Fields physiologist
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University
Known for vision
Notable awards 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Haldan Keffer Hartline (December 22, 1903 – March 17, 1983) was an American physiologist who was a co-winner (with George Wald and Ragnar Granit) of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in analyzing the neurophysiological mechanisms of vision.

Hartline began his study of retinal electrophysiology as a National Research Council Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, receiving his M.D. in 1927. After attending the universities of Leipzig and Munich as an Eldridge Johnson traveling research scholar, he became professor of biophysics and chairman of the department at Johns Hopkins in 1949. One of Hartline's graduate students at Johns Hopkins, Paul Greengard, later also won the Nobel Prize. Hartline joined the staff of Rockefeller University, New York City, in 1953 as professor of neurophysiology.

Hartline investigated the electrical responses of the retinas of certain arthropods, vertebrates, and mollusks because their visual systems are much simpler than those of humans and are thus easier to study. He concentrated his studies on the eye of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). Using minute electrodes in his experiments, he obtained the first record of the electrical impulses sent by a single optic nerve fibre when the receptors connected to it are stimulated by light. He found that the photoreceptor cells in the eye are interconnected in such a way that when one is stimulated, others nearby are depressed, thus enhancing the contrast in light patterns and sharpening the perception of shapes. Hartline thus built up a detailed understanding of the workings of individual photoreceptors and nerve fibres in the retina, and he showed how simple retinal mechanisms constitute vital steps in the integration of visual information.

References

  • Raju, T N (Aug. 1999). "The Nobel Chronicles. 1967: George Wald (1906-97); Ragnar A Granit (1900-91); and Haldan Keffer Hartline (1903-83)". Lancet (ENGLAND) 354 (9178): 605. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 10470741.  
  • Ratliff, F (1990). "Haldan Keffer Hartline: December 22, 1903-March 18, 1983". Biographical memoirs. National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) (UNITED STATES) 59: 197–213. PMID 11616158.  
  • Granit, R; Ratliff F (1985). "Haldan Keffer Hartline: 22 December 1903-18 March 1983". Biographical memoirs of fellows of the Royal Society. Royal Society (Great Britain) (ENGLAND) 31: 261–92. ISSN 0080-4606. PMID 11621205.  
  • Sulek, K (Jul. 1969). "[Nobel prize for George Wald, Haldan Keffer Hartline and Ragner Granit in 1967 for discoveries concerning the primary biochemical and physiological phenomena occurring in the process of vision]". Wiad. Lek. (POLAND) 22 (13): 1258–9. ISSN 0043-5147. PMID 4897321.  
  • Crescitelli, F (Apr. 1968). "The 1967 Nobel Prizes for Physiology or Medicine". Vision Res. (ENGLAND) 8 (4): 333–7. ISSN 0042-6989. PMID 4939576.  
  • Dubois-Poulsen, A (Mar. 1968). "[The Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1967]". Annales d'oculistique (FRANCE) 201 (3): 257–69. ISSN 0003-4371. PMID 4877173.  
  • Bouman, M A (Jan. 1968). "[Ragnar Garnit, Haldan Keffer Hartline, George Wald, winners of the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine]". Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde (NETHERLANDS) 112 (1): 23–5. ISSN 0028-2162. PMID 4875782.  
  • Mikulski, T (1968). "[Noble laureate prize in the field of medicine for 1967: G. Wald, R. Granit, and H. K. Hartline]". Postepy Biochem. (POLAND) 14 (3): 473. ISSN 0032-5422. PMID 4879756.  
  • "[The Nobel prize for physiology or medicine]". Nordisk medicin (SWEDEN) 78 (44): 1429–34. Nov. 1967. ISSN 0029-1420. PMID 4864608.  
  • "Men of vision". Br Med J (ENGLAND) 4 (5573): 185–6. Oct. 1967. ISSN 0007-1447. PMID 4861385.  
  • Dowling, J E; Ratliff F (Oct. 1967). "Nobel prize: 3 named for medicine, physiology award (George Wald, Ragnar Granit and Haldan Keffer Hartline)". Science (UNITED STATES) 158 (800): 468–73. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 4860394.  
  • Elenius, V (1967). "[Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology, 1967]". Duodecim; lääketieteellinen aikakauskirja (FINLAND) 83 (22): 1247–50. ISSN 0012-7183. PMID 4875089.  

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