Neurons of the visual cortex of the cat were penetrated with intracellular electrodes and postsynaptic potentials evoked by visual stimuli recorded. By alternately polarizing the cell with steady current injected through the recording electrode, IPSPs and EPSPs could be recorded and analyzed independently. Hyperpolarizing current suppressed IPSPs and enhanced EPSPs by moving the membrane potential toward the IPSP equilibrium potential. Depolarizing the cell toward the EPSP equilibrium potential enhanced IPSP. The responses to electrical stimulation of the LGN, where EPSPs and IPSPs could be distinguished easily by virtue of their characteristic latencies and shapes, were used to set the current injection to the appropriate level to view the two types of synaptic potential. EPSPs were found to be well oriented in that maximal depolarizing responses could be evoked at only one stimulus orientation; rotating the stimulus orientation in either direction produced a fall in the EPSP response. IPSPs were also well tuned to orientation, and invariably the preferred orientations of EPSPs and IPSPs in any one cell were identical. In addition, no systematic difference in the width of tuning of the two types of potential was seen. This result has been obtained from penetrations of over 30 cortical cells, including those with simple and complex receptive fields It is concluded that orientation of cortical receptive fields is neither created nor sharpened by inhibition between neurons with different orientation preference. The function of inhibition evoked simultaneously with excitation by optimally oriented stimuli has yet to be determined, though it is likely to be the mechanism underlying other corticalreceptive field properties, such as direction selectivit and end-stopping.