Intracellular recordings from receptors, horizontal cells, bipolars, and amacrines have been carried out in the perfused mudpuppy eyecup. The introduction of a chloride-free (c-f) medium results in initial transient potential changes in many cells followed by a slow loss of light-evoked activity of the depolarizing bipolar, the horizontal cell, and the on depolarization of amacrine cells. The hyperpolarizing bipolar remains responsive to light stimulation in a c-f medium, but the antagonistic surround mechanism is abolished. These effects are reversible after returning to a normal ionic medium. The results of this study provide insight into the retinal connections which underlie ganglion cell receptive field organization. It is concluded that the depolarizing bipolar is excitatory to on ganglion cells and is also the pathway for on-excitation of on-off cells. The hyperpolarizing bipolar mediates the off discharge of off and on-off cells. Amacrine cells receive input from both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing bipolar cells. These findings raise the possibility that transmembrane movements of chloride ions are critical for the light responsiveness of horizontal and depolarizing bipolar cell activity.