Haldan Keffer Hartline

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Hartline, 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. He was a professor at Johns Hopkins from 1949 to 1953, when he joined the faculty of the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller Univ.). Hartline was a co-recipient of the 1967 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with 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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 and Ragnar GranitGranit, 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.
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 for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye. Hartline studied the eye of the horseshoe crab and determined that stimulation of one of the receptor cells in the eye is accompanied by depression of the nearby cells, resulting in enhanced contrast and shape perception.

Hartline, Haldan Keffer


Born Dec. 22, 1903, in Bloomsburg, Pa. American physiologist and biophysicist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Hartline graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1927; from 1927 to 1929 he was a medical science research fellow at Johns Hopkins, and from 1929 to 1931 he was engaged in research at the universities of Leipzig and Munich. From 1943 to 1949, Hartline was professor of biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania; from 1949 to 1953, professor and chairman of the department of biophysics at Johns Hopkins University; and from 1953 to 1974, professor of biophysics at Rockefeller University in New York. He retired in 1975.

In the 1930’s, Hartline studied the neurophysiological functions of individual neurons in the retina of vertebrates. He is best known for his research, carried out jointly with others in the 1940’s and 1950’s, on the inhibiting interaction between adjacent photoreceptors in the retina of the Xiphosura order of arthropods. Hartline is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London. In 1967 he was awarded the Nobel Prize together with the Swedish physiologist R. Granit and with G. Wald.


Studies on Excitation and Inhibition in the Retina. London, 1974.
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