At many synapses in the central nervous system, spikes within high-frequency trains have a better chance of driving the postsynaptic neuron than spikes occurring in isolation. We asked what mechanism accounts for this selectivity at the retinogeniculate synapse. The amplitude of synaptic potentials was remarkably constant, ruling out a major role for presynaptic mechanisms such as synaptic facilitation. Instead, geniculate spike trains could be predicted from retinal spike trains on the basis of postsynaptic summation. This simple form of integration explains the response differences between a geniculate neuron and its main retinal driver, and thereby determines the flow of visual information to cortex. © ARVO.