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Vision Res. 1996 Mar;36(5):631-44.

Receptive field structure in the primate retina.

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Department of Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany.


This review summarizes recent work relevant to receptive field structure of cells of the parvocellular (PC) and (MC) magnocellular pathways in the primate. In the PC-pathway, recent data suggest that different color- and cone-opponent ganglion cells make up specific anatomical classes with specific cone connectivities and bipolar cell input. For example, blue-on ganglion cells have been identified anatomically as the small bistratified ganglion cell class. For the midget ganglion cells, which appear to be red-green opponent, there seems to be only one mosaic for red and green on-center and one for red and green off-center cells. This mixture of cell type within a retinal cell mosaic is unusual, as is the fact that dendritic trees of neighboring midget cells do not overlap. Physiologically, all PC-cells lack a contrast gain control mechanism and show a high degree of spatial and temporal linearity of their responses. In the magnocellular pathway, on- and off-center cells, corresponding to parasol cells with dendritic trees ramifying in the inner and outer sublaminae of the inner plexiform layer, show properties familiar from studies of cat ganglion cells, e.g. a contrast gain control is present. However, a chromatic input to the receptive field surround gives their responses an additional order of complexity.

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