The retinal wholemount technique: A window to understanding the brain and behaviour

Ullmann, Jeremy F. P., Moore, Bret A., Temple, Shelby E., Fernández-Juricic, Esteban and Collin, Shaun P. (2012) The retinal wholemount technique: A window to understanding the brain and behaviour. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 79 1: 26-44. doi:10.1159/000332802

Author Ullmann, Jeremy F. P.
Moore, Bret A.
Temple, Shelby E.
Fernández-Juricic, Esteban
Collin, Shaun P.
Title The retinal wholemount technique: A window to understanding the brain and behaviour
Journal name Brain, Behavior and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-8977
Publication date 2012-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1159/000332802
Volume 79
Issue 1
Start page 26
End page 44
Total pages 19
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher S. Karger
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract The accessibility of the vertebrate retina has provided the opportunity to assess various parameters of the visual abilities of a range of species. This thin but complex extension of the brain achieves a large proportion of the necessary visual processing of an optical image before information is delivered to the brain as neural impulses. Studies of the retina as a wholemount or a flattened sheet of neural tissue are abundant due to the large amount of information that can be analysed, as follows: the level of summation or convergence; the coverage, stratification and potential sites of synaptic connections; the spatial resolving power; the arrangement of neuronal arrays or mosaics; electrophysiological access for the recording of responses to visual stimuli; the spatial arrangement of cell dendritic fields; location of retinal ‘blind spots’ (optic nerve, falciform process and pecten); topographic differences in retinal cell sampling; spectral filters, and reflective structures. The present study examines all aspects of the wholemount technique, including enucleation, fixation, retinal extraction, flattening, staining, visualization of labelled cells and stereological mapping of cell density. Uniquely, it highlights the crucial technical and often species-specific differences encountered when examining a range of vertebrate taxa (fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals). This broad comparative approach will enable future studies to overcome technical difficulties, thus permitting larger conceptual questions to be posed regarding the diversity of visual tasks across phylogenetic boundaries.
Keyword Vision
Ganglion cell
Oil droplet
Visual acuity
Behavioural ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 6 december 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 33 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 07 Dec 2011, 09:39:21 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of Centre for Advanced Imaging