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[foh-toh-ri-sep-ter] /ˌfoʊ toʊ rɪˈsɛp tər/
noun, Physiology, Biology
a receptor stimulated by light.
Origin of photoreceptor
1905-10; photo- + receptor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for photoreceptor
  • Millions of photoreceptor cells residing in the human retina gather light and transmit signals to the brain.
  • Through the same viral strategy, both photoreceptor types were then introduced into neurons.
  • Retinal implants are designed to replace the function of damaged light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the retina.
  • First, the pigment cell absorbs light and casts a shadow over the photoreceptor cell.
  • Some scientists are trying to inject signaling molecules into the eye to stimulate light-collecting photoreceptor cells to regrow.
  • Each pigment is encoded in a single gene, and any given photoreceptor in the retina uses only one.
  • Scanning the eyes of dogs that underwent the procedure, researchers could see how the photoreceptor cells had changed.
  • Phytochrome is a photoreceptor, a pigment that plants use to detect light.
British Dictionary definitions for photoreceptor


(zoology, physiol) a light-sensitive cell or organ that conveys impulses through the sensory neuron connected to it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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photoreceptor in Medicine

photoreceptor pho·to·re·cep·tor (fō'tō-rĭ-sěp'tər)
A nerve ending, cell, or group of cells specialized to sense or receive light.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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photoreceptor in Science
  1. A specialized structure or cell that is sensitive to light. In vertebrate animals, the photoreceptors are the rods and cones of the eye's retina. See Note at circadian rhythm.

  2. An electronic device that converts light energy into electrical signals. Photoreceptors are used in photocopy and facsimile machines, cameras, and solar cells.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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