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Nat Neurosci. 2017 Apr;20(4):550-558. doi: 10.1038/nn.4498. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Retinal origin of direction selectivity in the superior colliculus.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.
2
Tianjin Eye Hospital, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tianjin Eye Institute, Clinical College of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.
3
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.
4
Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
5
General Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.
6
Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

Detecting visual features in the environment, such as motion direction, is crucial for survival. The circuit mechanisms that give rise to direction selectivity in a major visual center, the superior colliculus (SC), are entirely unknown. We optogenetically isolate the retinal inputs that individual direction-selective SC neurons receive and find that they are already selective as a result of precisely converging inputs from similarly tuned retinal ganglion cells. The direction-selective retinal input is linearly amplified by intracollicular circuits without changing its preferred direction or level of selectivity. Finally, using two-photon calcium imaging, we show that SC direction selectivity is dramatically reduced in transgenic mice that have decreased retinal selectivity. Together, our studies demonstrate a retinal origin of direction selectivity in the SC and reveal a central visual deficit as a consequence of altered feature selectivity in the retina.

PMID:
28192394
PMCID:
PMC5374021
DOI:
10.1038/nn.4498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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