To characterize temporal receptive fields of VG3-ACs, we presented white noise stimuli (refresh rate: 30 Hz, RMS contrast: 40%) to receptive field centers (voltage and excitation) or surrounds (inhibition) and adapted a principal-component-based approach to recover linear filters describing temporal sensitivity to ON and OFF stimuli, respectively (‘Materials and methods’) (Greschner et al., 2006; Gollisch and Meister, 2008). (A, E, I) Linear ON and OFF filters constructed from voltage (A, black), excitation (E, red), and inhibition (I, blue) traces of representative VG3-ACs. (B, C, F, G, J, K) Peak times (B, F, J) and biphasic indices (C, G, K, ON: |trough|/peak, OFF: peak/|trough|) of ON and OFF filters. Dots show data from individual cells and circles (error bars) indicate mean (± SEM) of the population. Peak times of ON and OFF filters were not significantly different for voltage (B, black, n = 9, p > 0.2), excitation (F, red, n = 9, p > 0.4), and inhibition (J, blue, n = 9, p > 0.08). However, ON filters were more biphasic than OFF filters for excitation (G, red, p < 0.002) and inhibition (K, blue, p < 0.002), but not voltage responses (B, black, p > 0.1). (D, H, L) Temporal frequency tuning functions calculated from Fourier amplitudes of ON (left panels) and OFF (right panels) filters for voltage (D, black), excitation (H, red), and inhibition (L, blue) responses show response suppression at high- and low-stimulus frequencies and illustrate the higher sensitivity of VG3-ACs and their synaptic inputs to OFF compared to ON stimuli. Circles (error bars) show mean (± SEM) of the population.