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Simultaneous recording from two cells in the locust retina

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  1. 1.

    Simultaneous recordings with two electrodes from pairs of locust retinula cells have been obtained.

  2. 2.

    Certain pairs are interpreted as different cells in the same ommatidium because they have markedly different planes of maximum sensitivity to polarized light, but identical angular sensitivities.

  3. 3.

    This rules out artefactual reflection effects as the basis of polarized light discrimination, and points to the rhabdom of each cell as an individual polarization analyser.

  4. 4.

    The irregular angular sensitivities sometimes recorded are interpreted as coming from one cell, not as a simultaneous recording of the responses of several cells.

  5. 5.

    When one cell of a pair is polarized by current applied through the electrode, coupling between cells, as evidenced by the small potential seen in the other cell of the pair, is low.

  6. 6.

    The observation of non-coincidence of “bumps” at low light levels, and the independence of the polarized light responses at high intensities provide “natural” tests which show coupling is low in physiological conditions.

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This work was carried out during tenure of an assistantship to Dr. G. A. Horridge, to whom I am greatly indebted for facilities, encouragement and criticism.

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Shaw, S.R. Simultaneous recording from two cells in the locust retina. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie 55, 183–194 (1967).

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