On the role of horizontal cells in the mechanism of retinal adaptation
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We recorded by intracellular means responses of horizontal cells of the turtle retina to light increase and decrease of different values against the starting adapting level. In measuring these responses, curves reflecting the dependence of membrane potential deflection on light intensity (amplitude characteristics — ACh) were plotted. It is demonstrated that the ACh of transitional processes (on- and off-peaks) is considerably steeper than ACh of the plateau of the potential, but embraces a much smaller range of light intensities (slightly more than 1 log. un.). During a change in intensity of the adapting background (up to 3 log. un.), the ACh of transitional processes shifts along the scale of light intensities in such a way that its steep part remains in the zone of adapting light. We followed the dynamics in time of ACh shift after the transition from one adapting brightness to another. The ACh of total impulse response was plotted for ganglionic cells of the turtle at different intensities of adapting light. Comparison of these curves with the ACh of horizontal cells shows that its peripheral components are responsible for adaptive shifts of ACh of the visual system and that horizontal cells play an important role in the mechanism of adaptation. It is hypothesized that adaptive ACh shifts are the consequence of positive feedback between the horizontal cells and receptors.
KeywordsLight Intensity Visual System Positive Feedback Impulse Response Small Range
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