The roles of rod and cone input and of dopamine in the generation of oscillatory potentials were studied in tiger salamander retina. Under scotopic conditions, oscillations were elicited with a green, but not a red stimulus. With mesopic background illumination, both stimuli caused oscillations. Addition of quinpirole to a mesopic retina eliminated oscillations while SKF-38393 had no effect. Similarly, addition of sulpiride to a light-adapted retina elicited oscillatory activity, but SCH 22390 had no effect. These results suggest that oscillatory potentials are elicited through activation of the rod pathway and are modulated by dopamine through D2-receptors.