Local edge detectors: A substrate for fine spatial vision at low temporal frequencies in rabbit retina

van Wyk, Michiel, Taylor, Rowland W. and Vaney, David I. (2006) Local edge detectors: A substrate for fine spatial vision at low temporal frequencies in rabbit retina. Journal of Neuroscience, 26 51: 13250-13263. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1991-06.2006

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Author van Wyk, Michiel
Taylor, Rowland W.
Vaney, David I.
Title Local edge detectors: A substrate for fine spatial vision at low temporal frequencies in rabbit retina
Journal name Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2006-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1991-06.2006
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 26
Issue 51
Start page 13250
End page 13263
Total pages 14
Editor David C. V. Essen
Place of publication United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Subject C1
320705 Sensory Systems
730111 Hearing, vision, speech and their disorders
Abstract Visual acuity is limited by the size and density of the smallest retinal ganglion cells, which correspond to the midget ganglion cells in primate retina and the beta- ganglion cells in cat retina, both of which have concentric receptive fields that respond at either light- On or light- Off. In contrast, the smallest ganglion cells in the rabbit retina are the local edge detectors ( LEDs), which respond to spot illumination at both light- On and light- Off. However, the LEDs do not predominate in the rabbit retina and the question arises, what role do they play in fine spatial vision? We studied the morphology and physiology of LEDs in the isolated rabbit retina and examined how their response properties are shaped by the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Although the LEDs comprise only similar to 15% of the ganglion cells, neighboring LEDs are separated by 30 - 40 mu m on the visual streak, which is sufficient to account for the grating acuity of the rabbit. The spatial and temporal receptive- field properties of LEDs are generated by distinct inhibitory mechanisms. The strong inhibitory surround acts presynaptically to suppress both the excitation and the inhibition elicited by center stimulation. The temporal properties, characterized by sluggish onset, sustained firing, and low bandwidth, are mediated by the temporal properties of the bipolar cells and by postsynaptic interactions between the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. We propose that the LEDs signal fine spatial detail during visual fixation, when high temporal frequencies are minimal.
Keyword retinal ganglion cell
edge detection
rabbit retina
visual acuity
amacrine cell
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 20:31:19 EST