Direct excitatory interactions between cones of different spectral types in the turtle retina

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 May 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4649, pp. 625-627
DOI: 10.1126/science.6710161


Cone linear sensitivities to red and green stimuli were measured intracellularly in the dark- and light-adapted turtle retina. Test flashes of small diameter were used to minimize horizontal cell feedback. Light adaptation was achieved with either green or red background illumination. The ratio of cone sensitivities to red and green light depended on the color of the background light and differed from the ratio measured in the dark. Electron microscope studies of Golgi-stained turtle cones revealed direct synaptic connections between red and green cones mediated by cone telodendria. These data indicate that the red cone photoresponse is not univariant as has been previously supposed and suggest that mixing of signals from different spectral classes of cones can occur via direct excitatory connections between cones.