1. We studied the effect of dark adaptation on the spatial organization of receptive fields of single cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus l.g.n. of the cat. 2. Contrary to previous reports, we found that in many l.g.n. cells the ability of the receptive field surround to suppress the response of the centre was diminished following dark adaptation. 3. The degree of reduction of the surround antagonistic strength varied from cell to cell, and was independent of the various classifications of visual neurones (X/Y, ON/OFF, layer, A/layer, A1 and central/peripheral). 4. Most cells also showed an increase in the apparent size of the excitatory centre upon dark adaptation. On the average, the width of the most effective bar stimulus located at the centre of the receptive field increased more than twofold. 5. We also studied the effect of dark adaptation on the temporal properties of l.g.n. receptive fields. In many cells dark adaptation changed the temporal modulation transfer function: it flattened the amplitude function, and changed the phase relationship between the centre response and the surround response. 6. Retinal ganglion cells showed qualitatively similar behaviour to that of l.g.n. neurones. 7. Our data do not support the notion that retinal ganglion cell centres converge on l.g.n. cells to form their surround mechanism.
View details for Web of Science ID A1979HN01100037
View details for PubMedID 512958