Absence of spectrally specific lateral inputs to midget ganglion cells in primate retina.

Calkins DJ, Sterling P
Nature. 1996 381 (6583): 613-5

PMID: 8637598 · DOI:10.1038/381613a0

Visual information is conveyed to the brain by the retinal ganglion cells. Midget ganglion cells serve fine spatial vision by summing excitation from a receptive field 'centre', receiving input from a single cone in the central retina, with lateral inhibition from a receptive field 'surround', receiving input from many surrounding cones. Midget ganglion cells are also thought to serve colour opponent vision because the centre excitation is from a cone of one spectral type, while the surround inhibition is from cones of the other type. The two major cone types, middle(M)- and long-(L)wavelength sensitive, are equally numerous and randomly distributed in the primate central retina, so a spectrally homogeneous surround requires that the cells mediating lateral interactions (horizontal or amacrine cells) receive selective input from only one cone type. Horizontal cells cannot do this because they receive input indiscriminately from M and L cones. Here we report that the amacrine cells connected to midget ganglion cells are similarly indiscriminate. The absence of spectral specificity in the inhibitory wiring raises doubt about the involvement of midget ganglion cells in colour vision and suggest that colour opponency may instead be conveyed by a different type of ganglion cell.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Color Perception Dendrites Macaca fascicularis Male Retinal Ganglion Cells Synapses Visual Pathways

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