Identification of a Retinal Circuit for Recurrent Suppression Using Indirect Electrical Imaging.


Understanding the function of modulatory interneuron networks is a major challenge, because such networks typically operate over long spatial scales and involve many neurons of different types. Here, we use an indirect electrical imaging method to reveal the function of a spatially extended, recurrent retinal circuit composed of two cell types. This recurrent circuit produces peripheral response suppression of early visual signals in the primate magnocellular visual pathway. We identify a type of polyaxonal amacrine cell physiologically via its distinctive electrical signature, revealed by electrical coupling with ON parasol retinal ganglion cells recorded using a large-scale multi-electrode array. Coupling causes the amacrine cells to fire spikes that propagate radially over long distances, producing GABA-ergic inhibition of other ON parasol cells recorded near the amacrine cell axonal projections. We propose and test a model for the function of this amacrine cell type, in which the extra-classical receptive field of ON parasol cells is formed by reciprocal inhibition from other ON parasol cells in the periphery, via the electrically coupled amacrine cell network.





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Publication Info

Greschner, Martin, Alexander K Heitman, Greg D Field, Peter H Li, Daniel Ahn, Alexander Sher, Alan M Litke, EJ Chichilnisky, et al. (2016). Identification of a Retinal Circuit for Recurrent Suppression Using Indirect Electrical Imaging. Current biology : CB, 26(15). pp. 1935–1942. 10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.051 Retrieved from

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Greg D. Field

Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurobiology

My laboratory studies how the retina processes visual scenes and transmits this information to the brain.  We use multi-electrode arrays to record the activity of hundreds of retina neurons simultaneously in conjunction with transgenic mouse lines and chemogenetics to manipulate neural circuit function. We are interested in three major areas. First, we work to understand how neurons in the retina are functionally connected. Second we are studying how light-adaptation and circadian rhythms alter visual processing in the retina. Finally, we are working to understand the mechanisms of retinal degenerative conditions and we are investigating potential treatments in animal models.

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