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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dark adaptation within the receptive field centre of rat retinal ganglion cells.

  • Author(s): Cicerone, CM
  • Green, DG
  • et al.

1. Recordings from single axons of retinal ganglion cells in the rat's optic tract were used to determine whether bleaching a small area of the receptive field reduced sensitivity globally or locally, near the bleached photoreceptors. 2. When a suprathreshold test spot was alternated between two equally sensitive positions, the ganglion cell gave an approximately balanced response. The balance was upset if a small‐spot bleach was selectively applied to one position. Recovery of the balanced condition was rapid. 3. Varying the duration of a constant illuminance bleach varied the duration of the imbalance following the bleach. 4. The recovery of sensitivity after small‐spot bleaches was measured both at the location of the bleach and also at another location, initially equally sensitive. The recovery at the bleached location lagged recovery at the unbleached location; but even in the bleached location, the return of sensitivity was rapid. 5. Recovery of sensitivity after half‐field bleaches was measured in the bleached and unbleached halves of the receptive field. Recovery in the bleached half lagged that in the unbleached half. 6. A comparison between the effects of a small‐spot bleach and a half‐field bleach of the same strength show that the duration of dark adaptation depends on the area of the bleach. © 1980 The Physiological Society

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