Payne, Richard

Richard Payne
Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
3220 Biology-Psychology Building
General Research Interests: 
  • Mechanisms of visual excitation in photoreceptors 

The research concentrates on messenger molecules released by light inside photoreceptor cells. These messengers mediate and modulate the electrical response of the photoreceptor to light. One messenger under investigation is inositol trisphosphate, which releases calcium from internal stores within a wide range of animal and plant cells. When injected into the giant photoreceptors of the horseshoe crab, inositol trisphosphate mimics excitation of the cell by light. Biochemical studies have shown that light releases inositol trisphosphate from the photoreceptor's membrane into the cell interior. These giant photoreceptors are one of the few living cells in which the actions of this important messenger can be easily studied.



Ph.D., Australian National University, 1982.