Electrophysiological investigations of retinal and polarization sensitivity in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)




Anderson, Leslie Gayle

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Understanding how animals detect and discriminate different qualities of light is a key component of the study of visual ecology. My research investigated the use of three electrophysiological methods to assess the neuronal mechanisms involved in spectral and polarization sensitivity in one species of salmonid, the rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss). 1 examined the neuronal mechanisms underlying polarization sensitivity using electroretinograms (ERG) and optic nerve compound action potential (CAP) recordings. Chromatic adaptation and pharmacological techniques were used to reveal opponent interaction at the cone-horizontal cell level and to provide the first evidence of retinal processing of polarization sensitivity. To facilitate additional research more suited to the exploration of neural networks and signaling, I developed the protocols and techniques necessary to investigate the spectral sensitivity of rainbow trout using whole-cell patch clamp (WPC) electrophysiology, and produced the first assessment of the ultraviolet component of spectral sensitivity in a vertebrate using this technique.



rainbow trout, physiology, retina