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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Apr;5(4):341-7.

Retinal ganglion cell synchronization by fixational eye movements improves feature estimation.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Neurobiology Group, University of Oldenburg, 26111-Oldenburg, Germany.

Abstract

Image movements relative to the retina are essential for the visual perception of stationary objects during fixation. Here we have measured fixational eye and head movements of the turtle, and determined their effects on the activity of retinal ganglion cells by simulating the movements on the isolated retina. We show that ganglion cells respond mainly to components of periodic eye movement that have amplitudes of roughly the diameter of a photoreceptor. Drift or small head movements have little effect. Driven cells that are located along contrast borders are synchronized, which reliably signals a preceding movement. In an artificial neural network, the estimation of spatial frequencies for various square wave gratings improves when timelocked to this synchronization. This could potentially improve stimulus feature estimation by the brain.

PMID:
11914721
DOI:
10.1038/nn821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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