Concerted Signaling by Retinal Ganglion Cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Nov 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5239, pp. 1207-1210
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5239.1207


To analyze the rules that govern communication between eye and brain, visual responses were recorded from an intact salamander retina. Parallel observation of many retinal ganglion cells with a microelectrode array showed that nearby neurons often fired synchronously, with spike delays of less than 10 milliseconds. The frequency of such synchronous spikes exceeded the correlation expected from a shared visual stimulus up to 20-fold. Synchronous firing persisted under a variety of visual stimuli and accounted for the majority of action potentials recorded. Analysis of receptive fields showed that concerted spikes encoded information not carried by individual cells; they may represent symbols in a multineuronal code for vision.

Stay Connected to Science