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J Neurophysiol. 1975 May;38(3):613-26.

Directionally sensitive ganglion cells in the rabbit retina: specificity for stimulus direction, size, and speed.

Abstract

The receptive fields of directionally sensitive ganglion cells in the rabbit retina were analyzed. Several types of experiment showed that each point within the receptive field of the cell is inhibited by a fairly wide area of points around it, lying on each side of the preferred-null axis as well as along the preferred-null axis in the preferred direction. The excitatory or responsive receptive field of these cells has an inhibitory surround: this inhibitory surround appears to be simply an extension of the inhibition that occurs within the center of the receptive field. Points toward the edge of the responsive receptive field are inhibited from an area around them which extends into the center of the receptive field and also into the inhibitory surround. Directionally sensitive retinal ganglion cells respond to moving spots better than to moving bars. This is particularly true for objects moved perpendicularly to the preferred-null axis. In some cells a spot moved perpendicularly to the preferred-null axis will give a substantial response, whereas a bar moved in the same direction will give no response at all. This phenomenon can be explained by the inhibitory area which surrounds each point within the receptive field; since this inhibitory area is asymmetrical, it is also responsible for the cell's directional sensitivity. When two bars oriented perpendicular to the preferred null axis are flashed, one after the other, the response to the second bar is nearly always reduced by the presentation of the first bar. This is true for many temporal and spatial sequences corresponding to movement in the preferred direction, as well as those corresponding to movement in the null direction. However, there are temporal and spatial sequences, corresponding to movement in the preferred direction, for which the response to the second bar is unaffected by the presentation of the first bar. The time delay for this does not vary from cell to cell--it is always approximately 20 ms for on-off directionally sensitive cells and approximately 180 ms for on directionally sensitive cells. The spatial separation does vary from cell to cell, between 0.13 degrees and 1.2 degrees in 11 on-off directionally sensitive cells. This spatial separation, which gives linear summation of the response to two bars flashed 20 ms apart in the preferred direction, is correlated with the speed of movement which gives the best response for a bar moved through the receptive field in the preferred direction.

PMID:
1127460
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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