The neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells that carry visuals signals from the eye to the brain has been traced for the first time by researchers.
Their measurements, published in the Oct. 7, 2010, issue of the journal Nature,
not only reveal computations in a neural circuit at the elementary resolution of individual neurons but also shed light on the neural code used by the retina to relay color information to the brain.
"Nobody has ever seen the entire input-output transformation performed by complete circuits in the retina at single-cell resolution," says senior author E.J. Chichilnisky, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories. "We think these data will allow us to more deeply understand neuronal computations in the visual system and ultimately may help us construct better retinal implants."