Spatial organization of retinal information about the direction of image motion

Academic Article


  • The visual stimuli that elicit neural activity differ for different retinal ganglion cells and these cells have been categorized by the visual information that they transmit. If specific visual information is conveyed exclusively or primarily by a particular set of ganglion cells, one might expect the cells to be organized spatially so that their sampling of information from the visual field is complete but not redundant. In other words, the laterally spreading dendrites of the ganglion cells should completely cover the retinal plane without gaps or significant overlap. The first evidence for this sort of arrangement, which has been called a tiling or tessellation, was for the two types of 'α' ganglion cells in cat retina. Other reports of tiling by ganglion cells have been made subsequently. We have found evidence of a particularly rigorous tiling for the four types of ganglion cells in rabbit retina that convey information about the direction of retinal image motion (the ON-OFF direction-selective cells). Although individual cells in the four groups are morphologically indistinguishable, they are organized as four overlaid tilings, each tiling consisting of like- type cells that respond preferentially to a particular direction of retinal image motion. These observations lend support to the hypothesis that tiling is a general feature of the organization of information outflow from the retina and clearly implicate mechanisms for recognition of like-type cells and establishment of mutually acceptable territories during retinal development.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Amthor FR; Oyster CW
  • Start Page

  • 4002
  • End Page

  • 4005
  • Volume

  • 92
  • Issue

  • 9