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Adaptations for vision in dim light: impulse responses and bumps in nocturnal spider photoreceptor cells (Cupiennius salei Keys)

Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1081-1087
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volym: 193
Nummer: 10
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg


The photoreceptor cells of the nocturnal spider Cupiennius salei were investigated by intracellular electrophysiology. (1) The responses of photoreceptor cells of posterior median (PM) and anterior median (AM) eyes to short (2 ms) light pulses showed long integration times in the dark-adapted and shorter integration times in the light-adapted state. (2) At very low light intensities, the photoreceptors responded to single photons with discrete potentials, called bumps, of high amplitude (2-20 mV). When measured in profoundly dark-adapted photoreceptor cells of the PM eyes these bumps showed an integration time of 128 +/- 35 ms (n = 7) whereas in dark-adapted photoreceptor cells of AM eyes the integration time was 84 +/- 13 ms (n = 8), indicating that the AM eyes are intrinsically faster than the PM eyes. (3) Long integration times, which improve visual reliability in dim light, and large responses to single photons in the dark-adapted state, contribute to a high visual sensitivity in Cupiennius at night. This conclusion is underlined by a calculation of sensitivity that accounts for both anatomical and physiological characteristics of the eye.



  • Biology and Life Sciences


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