Incremental photic stimuli have been used to elicit small amplitude retinal action potentials from light-adapted ocelli of the wolf spider, Lycosa baltimoriana (Keyserling) in order to see whether or not the amplitudes of these potentials are linearly related to the stimulus amplitudes. Sine wave variations of light intensity around a mean elicit sine wave variations in potential which contain inappreciable harmonics of the stimulus frequency and whose amplitudes are linearly related to the stimulus amplitudes. Likewise, the responses to the first two periodic Fourier components of incremental rectangular wave stimuli of variable duty cycle are directly proportional to the amplitudes of these components and have phases dependent only on the frequencies and phases of these components. Thirdly, a linear transfer function can be found which describes the amplitudes and phases of responses recorded at different frequencies of sine wave stimulation and this transfer function is sufficient to predict the responses to incremental step stimuli. Finally, it is shown that flash response amplitudes are linearly related to incremental flash intensities at all levels of adaptation. The relations of these linear responses to non-linear responses and to physiological mechanisms of the eye are discussed.

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