The effects of dopamine antagonists on the extracellularly recorded activity of ON- and OFF-center brisk ganglion cells and ON-OFF directionally selective ganglion cells in the rabbit retina were investigated. Haloperidol, fluphenazine, and cis-flupenthixol, infused in the arterial system supplying the eye, produced similar effects. In general, these drugs reduced the antagonistic surround responses of brisk ganglion cells, reduced the sustained excitation of the center response of ON-center brisk-sustained cells, reduced the leading edge response of ON-OFF directionally selective cells to moving light stimuli along with any sustained excitation to stationary light stimuli, and affected the spontaneous activity of the cells. These drug effects appear to be due to a blockade of D-1 (adenylate cyclase-linked) receptors and not to D-2 receptors. Neither S-sulpiride nor metoclopramide, two specific D-2 antagonists, had much effect. The findings are the first to describe the functional effects of dopamine antagonists on single cells in the mammalian retina and on ganglion cell activity in the vertebrate retina.