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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Apr;21(2):238-44. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.01.008. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Illuminating synapses and circuitry in the retina.

Author information

1
Synaptic Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Porter Neuroscience Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

In the central nervous system, space is at a premium. This is especially true in the retina, where synapses, cells, and circuitry have evolved to maximize signal-processing capacity within a thin, optically transparent tissue. For example, at some retinal synapses, single presynaptic active zones contact multiple postsynaptic targets; some individual neurons perform completely different tasks depending on visual conditions, while others execute hundreds of circuit computations in parallel; and the retinal network adapts, at various levels, to the ever-changing visual world. Each of these features reflects efficient use of limited cellular resources to optimally encode visual information.

PMID:
21349699
PMCID:
PMC3092811
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2011.01.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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