1. Experiments are presented which show that the latent period in the photosensory response of Ciona is inversely proportional to the duration of the exposure period to light. From this it is found that the velocity of the chemical reaction which determines the latent period is directly proportional to the concentration of photochemical products formed during the exposure period. This is interpreted as showing that the two processes form a coupled photochemical reaction, of which the secondary reaction proceeds only in the presence of products from the primary reaction. This coupling may be a catalysis or a direct chemical relation.
2. Further experiments show that the relation between temperature and the latent period is accurately described by the Arrhenius equation in which µ = 16,200. The precise numerical value of µ tentatively identifies the latent period process as an oxidation reaction which is catalyzed by iron.
3. The photocatalytic properties of certain iron compounds are used as a model for the coupled photochemical reaction suggested for the photosensory mechanism of Ciona and Mya.