Granit, Ragnar

Granit, Ragnar,

1900–1991, Swedish physiologist, M.D., Univ. of Helsinki, 1927. A professor at the Univ. of Helsinki from 1927, he joined the faculty of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in 1940. Granit was a co-recipient of the 1967 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Haldan K. HartlineHartline, Haldan Keffer,
1903–83, American physiologist, b. Bloomsburg, Pa., M.D. Johns Hopkins, 1927. From 1931 to 1949 (except for 1940–41), he was a researcher at the Eldridge Reeves Johnson Foundation for Medical Physics, Univ. of Pennsylvania.
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 and George WaldWald, George,
1906–97, American biochemist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Columbia, 1932. He spent most of his career on the faculty at Harvard. In 1967 Wald, Haldan K. Hartline, and Ragnar Granit received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with for their discoveries
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 for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye. Granit demonstrated that light inhibits as well as stimulates impulses along the optic nerve. He also showed that some of the nerve fibers in the eye respond to the entire light spectrum, while others are sensitive to just a narrow band within the spectrum and are therefore color specific.

Granit, Ragnar


Born Oct. 30, 1900, in Helsinki. Swedish neurophysiologist. President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1963 to 1965.

Granit graduated from a normal school in Sweden and from the University of Helsinki. He received his M.D. degree in 1927. From 1937 to 1940 he was a professor of physiology at the University of Helsinki. He became a professor of neurophysiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1940 and served as director of the neurophysiology department at the Nobel Institute of Medicine in Stockholm from 1945 to 1967.

Granit’s main works deal with the physiology of sensory organs. He has studied electrical processes in an optical analyzer. Granit and his school furthered the study of the central regulation of the sensitivity of muscle receptors, which opened new frontiers in the physiology of motion.

Granit shared the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine with G. Wald and H. Hartline in 1967. He was awarded the Sherrington Gold Medal in 1967.


Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina. London–New York–Toronto, 1947.
Receptors and Sensory Perception. New Haven, Conn., 1955.
Charles Scott Sherrington: An Appraisal. London, 1966.
Mechanisms Regulating the Discharge of Motoneurons. 1972.
In Russian translation:
Elektrofiziologicheskoe issledovanie retseptsii. Moscow, 1957.
Osnovy reguliatsii dvizhenii. Moscow, 1973.
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