Spectral properties of short-wavelength (blue) cones in the turtle retina

Vis Neurosci. 1992 Sep-Oct;9(3-4):235-41. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800010646.


Long- and medium-wavelength cones in the turtle retina participate in complex neural interactions. They are coupled via excitatory pathways to other cones and receive negative feedback inputs from luminosity-type horizontal cells. Little information has been collected on the S- (short-wavelength or blue) cones because they are scarce in the turtle retina and of smaller dimensions compared to the other cone types. In this paper, flash sensitivity action spectra and photoresponses of seven turtle S-cones were measured in the dark-adapted state and during chromatic background illuminations. The desensitizing action of monochromatic background lights was not uniform across the visible spectrum. A red background was most effective in desensitizing the S-cones to long-wavelength stimuli while a blue background light produced its strongest action on the photoresponses elicited by short-wavelength stimuli. The effects of chromatic adaptation on the S-cone action spectrum and on the kinetics of the small-amplitude photoresponses suggested that the S-cones in the turtle retina were involved in complex neural interactions. These included excitatory inputs probably originating in neighboring L-cones and inhibitory long-wavelength inputs probably mediated by L-type horizontal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Color Perception*
  • Dark Adaptation
  • Light
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Turtles