Light adaptation in cat retinal rods

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Science  18 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4919, pp. 755-758
DOI: 10.1126/science.2772634


It has long been an open question whether individual rod receptors in the mammalian retina show any light adaptation. The prevailing evidence so far has suggested that these cells, unlike those in lower vertebrates, adapt little if at all. The experiments on cat rods reported here, however, indicate that this is not really true. Since the cone system in the cat retina has a fairly high light threshold, the rods also need to adapt so that they do not saturate with light before the cones fully take over vision at higher light intensities. In similar experiments, adaptation was found in rods of other mammalian species, including primates.

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