In my teachers slides, it says "light hitting the center of the retinal receptive field can either increase or decrease the number of impulses fired"

Is this "or" because it depends on whether the light hits a photoreceptor connected to an on or an off bipolar cell? So does that mean when light hits a certain place, it hits only one photoreceptor? How are these two types of bipolar cells arranged? I thought that if some light hits the center, there is an equal number of on and off bipolar cells.

  • $\begingroup$ Your teacher's slides should include which cell in the retina they are talking about. If they don't, the slides are very incomplete. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ They do not. But what do you mean? What cell are you thinking of and why would that make a difference? Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Drita Raci
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ Because there's no such thing as a "retinal receptive field". The retina doesn't have a receptive field any more than a school has a kidney. There are neurons in the retina, though; those have receptive fields. But there are a lot of different kinds of neurons in the retina. The statement would not be true if, for example, you applied it to a rod or cone photoreceptor cell. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 20:31


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