Electroretinographic responses (ERG) to homogeneous light flashes and to alternating gratings were recorded from either eye of monkeys in which one optic nerve had been previously sectioned. Three weeks after optic nerve section the ERG response of the operated eye to alternating gratings was drastically reduced in amplitude and 5 weeks after surgery it was reduced to noise level. The uniform field ERG was unaffected. Histological examination of whole-mounted retinas of monkeys sacrificed 6 and 8 weeks after optic nerve section showed a loss of ganglion cells in the operated eye. It is concluded that the integrity of ganglion cells is essential for the generation of a normal ERG response to gratings.