Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 215–226 | Cite as

Dark recovery of polarized light sensitive and insensitive receptor cells in the retina of the fly

  • Juha Moring
  • Matti Järvilehto


Dark adaptation of individual receptor cells (R1-R6) was studied in the flyCalliphora erythrocephala. The site of the recordings was identified by intracellular Procion yellow staining. The dark adapted receptor cells were stimulated by 10 μs double delta-flashes from a xenon stroboscope, with different interstimulus intervals (ISI) between 7 and 300 ms. The spectral and polarized light sensitivities of the cells were measured and correlated with the anatomical classification of the cells.

The dark recovery of a cell depends among other things on the measured parameter of the potential, on the intensity of the conditioning flash, and on the polarized light sensitivity of the cell. The full dark recovery of a cell was found in every case to occur at least 100 to 300 ms after the conditioning flash. Of the different parameters which were measured, the amplitude of the potential response gave the slowest and the integral the fastest dark recovery.

Polarized light sensitive cells showed faster recovery and better temporal resolution than polarized light insensitive cells. No relationship could be found between cell morphology and the polarized light sensitivity or dark recovery, i.e., the same morphological cell type was found to belong to different physiological groups.

No relationship between spectral sensitivity and dark recovery could be found.

A possible explanation for the existence of two physiological groups of cells might be found in the occurrence of pigments having different mobility on the membranes of receptor cells or in the coupling of pairs of receptors in the lamina, as suggested by recent electronmicroscopical findings.


Retina Temporal Resolution Receptor Cell Spectral Sensitivity Interstimulus Interval 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juha Moring
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matti Järvilehto
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of OuluOulu 22Finland
  2. 2.Department of Neurobiology, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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