The S-potentials recorded intracellularly from the all-rod retina of the skate probably arise from the large horizontal cells situated directly below the layer of receptors. These cells hyperpolarize in response to light, irrespective of stimulus wavelength, and the responses in photopic as well as scotopic conditions were found to be subserved by a single photopigment with λmax = 500 nm. The process of adaptation was studied by recording simultaneously the threshold responses and membrane potentials of S-units during both light and dark adaptation. The findings indicate that the sensitivity of S-units, whether measured upon steady background fields or in the course of dark adaptation, exhibits changes similar to those demonstrated previously for the ERG b-wave and ganglion cell discharge. However, the membrane potential level of the S-unit and its sensitivity to photic stimulation varied independently for all the adapting conditions tested. It appears, therefore, that visual adaptation in the skate retina occurs before the S-unit is reached, i.e., at the receptors themselves.

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