1. We recorded from spiking units in the first optic chiasm between lamina and medulla in the brain of the blowfly (Calliphora vicina). Both previously characterized neuron types, on-off units and sustaining units, were encountered. On-off units had a temporal frequency response with a lower cut-off frequency than blowfly photoreceptors. This low cut-off frequency is related to a fast temporal adaptation of the on-off units to trains of short light pulses. Temporal adaptation occurred independently for short on- and off-pulses. 2. On-off units only responded to stimuli of relatively large contrast. Contrasts of less than 10% gave little or no response.