The time-course of the recovery from adaptation to drifting gratings was estimated as a function of the spatio-temporal characteristics of the stimulus. A new method was used, in which the response latencies for the detection of contrasts presented during the recovery were measured. An exponential function provides a good description of the recovery. The initial (i.e. at the beginning of the recovery period) and asymptotic values of this function depend on the temporal frequency but not on the spatial frequency of the adapting stimulus. The time constants increase with high spatial frequency and follow a U-shaped function of the temporal frequency of the adapting stimulus.