The ERG of the compound eye in freshly collected Ligia occidentalis, in response to high intensity light flashes of ⅛ second or longer duration, begins with a negative on-effect quickly followed by an early positive deflection, rapidly returns to the baseline during illumination, and ends with a positive off-effect. As the stimulus intensity is decreased the early positivity progressively decreases and the rapid return to the baseline is replaced by a slowing decline of the negative on-effect. Responses were recorded with one active electrode subcorneally situated in the illuminated eye, the reference electrode in the dark eye.
The dark-adapted eye shows a facilitation of the amplitude and rates of rise and fall of the on-effect to a brief, high intensity light stimulus. This facilitation may persist for more than 2 minutes.
Following light adaptation under conditions in which the human eye loses sensitivity by a factor of almost 40,000 the Ligia eye loses sensitivity by a factor of only 3.
The flicker fusion frequency of the ERG may be as high as 120/second with a corneal illumination of 15,000 foot-candles.
Bleeding an otherwise intact animal very rapidly results in a decline of amplitude, change of wave form, and loss of facilitation in the ERG.
When the eye is deganglionated without bleeding the animal the isolated retina responds in the same manner as the intact eye.
Histological examination of the Ligia receptor layer showed that each ommatidium contains three different retinula cell types, each of which may be responsible for a different aspect of the ERG.