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Electroretinograms can be broken down into three components:
- an initial a-wave, caused by extracellular ionic currents generated by photoreceptors during phototransduction,
- the b-wave, which corresponds to bipolar cell activity,
- and the later c-wave, which is generated by the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells.
Depending on the species the ERG is taken from, the c-wave may be positive, negative, or absent in part or in whole.