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We have examined the effects of prolonged periods of darkness on the responses of luminosity-type horizontal cells (L-HCs) in the freshwater cyprinid, Rutilus rutilus. Two groups of retinae were compared, those recorded after 10 min dark adaptation (SA) and those recorded after 3 h dark adaptation (LA). The results suggest that long-term light history does not modify the general responsiveness of the L-HCs in this species. However, there are apparent changes in the receptive field of the cells and modifications to the kinetics of the light-evoked response. The kinetics changes involve both a delay in the onset of light response and a selective effect on the hyperpolarizing light-ON response. Thus the mean time constant (tau) for the SA cells was 32.4+/-2.39 ms (n=62), whilst that for the LA cells was 53.4+/-3.03 ms (n=61). These effects occur in the absence of changes in the relative spectral sensitivity or threshold sensitivity of the HCs. The results suggest that in some vertebrate retinae, prolonged darkness (light-history) may regulate long-term plasticity in the kinetics of the cone-HC pathway.


Journal article


Brain Res

Publication Date





230 - 237


Animals, Cyprinidae, Dark Adaptation, Kinetics, Light, Photic Stimulation, Photoreceptor Cells, Retina, Time Factors