Reports

Receptive Field Mechanism in the Vertebrate Retina

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Science  19 Feb 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3972, pp. 691-693
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3972.691

Abstract

In the catfish retina there are two types of ganglion cells: in one type (type A cell) a spot of light at the center of its receptive field gives rise to a sustained discharge whereas an annulus gives rise to a transient response, and in the other type (type B cell) the response pattern is reversed for a spot and an annulus. Current injected into the horizontal cell induces spike discharges of the ganglion cell very similar to that elicited by a spot of light or by an annulus. In both types of receptive fields, depolarization of the horizontal cell gives rise to a response of the ganglion cell similar to that elicited by a spot of light, whereas hyperpolarization of the cell gives rise to a response of the ganglion cell similar to that elicited by an annulus. Current through a single injecting electrode could drive two types of cells simultaneously. Interaction between a spot of light and an annulus can also be simulated by replacing one light stimulus by current of the proper polarization injected into the horizontal cells. Results suggest that interactions among three neuronal structures, the receptor, the horizontal cell, and the bipolar cell, produce the basic receptive field organization in the channel catfish.