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Vision Res. 2002 Mar;42(6):683-94.

Orientation sensitivity of ganglion cells in primate retina.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


The two-dimensional shape of the receptive field center of macaque retinal ganglion cells was determined by measuring responses to drifting sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency and orientation. The responses of most cells to high spatial frequencies depended on grating orientation, indicating that their centers were not circularly symmetric. In general, center shape was well described by an ellipse. The major axis of the ellipse tended to point towards the fovea or perpendicular to this. Parvocellular pathway cells had greater center ellipticity than magnocellular pathway cells; the median ratio of the major-to-minor axis was 1.72 and 1.38, respectively. Parvocellular pathway cells also had centers that were often bimodal in shape, suggesting that they received patchy cone/bipolar cell input. We conclude that most ganglion cells in primate retina have elongated receptive field centers and thus show orientation sensitivity.

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