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Vision Res. 1986;26(3):391-408.

Gain control mechanisms in X- and Y-type retinal ganglion cells of the cat.


A change in responsiveness caused by a spot of light (conditioning spot, CS; 3 sec in duration) presented within a central region of the receptive field of X- and Y-type retinal ganglion cells of the cat was investigated by measuring the magnitude of responses to another spot of light (test spot, TS; 50 msec in duration) which was juxtaposed with the CS within the same receptive field's central region. Responses to the TS were suppressed steadily during the on-phase of the CS as if it were divided by a certain value. This fact indicates that the gain of the center mechanism was changed by the CS presentation. The setting of the gain to a new level was rapid (within 100 msec after the onset or the cessation of the CS), and the magnitude of a gain change was not affected by the surround antagonism. These characteristics of the gain control were common to X- and Y-cells under both mesopic and scotopic levels of light adaptation.

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