The sun-fish Lepomis responds to a moving system of stripes by a motion of its body. By changing the velocity of motion of the stripe system different flicker frequencies can be produced and thus the relation of flicker frequency to critical intensity of illumination can be studied. Threshold illumination varies with flicker frequency in such a way that with increasing flicker frequency the intensity of illumination must be increased to produce a threshold response in the fish.

The curve of critical illumination as a function of frequency is made up of two distinct parts. For an intensity range below 0.04 millilambert and flicker frequencies below 10 per second, the rods are in function. For higher intensities and flicker frequencies above 10, the cones come into play. The maximum frequency of flicker which can be perceived by the fish's eye is slightly above 50 per second.

The flicker curve for the eye of Lepomis can easily be compared with that for the human eye. The extent of the curve for the fish is greater at low illuminations, the fish being capable of distinguishing flicker at illuminations lower than can the human eye. The transition of rod vision to cone vision occurs for the fish and for the human eye at the same intensity and flicker frequency. The maximum frequency of flicker which can be perceived is for both about the same.

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