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Fine structure of receptive fields of orientation-selective ganglion cells in goldfish retina

© 2020 A. T. Aliper, I. Damjanovic, A. A. Zaichikova, E. M. Maximova, P. V. Maximov

Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences 127051 Moscow, Bolshoy Karetny per. 19, Russia

Received 09 Sep 2019

Orientation-selective ganglion cells (OS GCs) had been found in fish retina decades ago, however the underlying mechanisms behind their orientation selectivity remain unclear. OS GCs in fish can be divided into two physiological types that differer in preferred orientations close to vertical and horizontal. In other properties, the two types of the OS GCs do not differ from each other. They are not selective to the sign of stimulus contrast, i.e., have ON-OFF nature. We recorded extracellular activity from the axon terminals of retinal GCs in the tectum opticum of living restrained goldfish. The properties of stimuli and the experimental series were adjusted with software developed specifically for our research. For current study we used random checkerboard mapping method with single spot and two- spot flashing stimuli presented on CRT monitor.Orientation-selective ganglion cells – detectors of horizontal and vertical lines – are able to respond to single flashing spot stimuli, allowing to estimate their excitatory receptive fields’ sizes and shape. However the response to this kind of stimulation is significantly weaker when compared to response to preferred stimuli – properly oriented stripes and edges. But when presented with stimulus of simultaneous flash of two spots that stand for end points of a line segment of preferred orientation the OS GCs respond with sustained spike discharge. We also observed inhibition when two spots were oriented orthogonally. The resulting images of local excitations and inhibitions in the RFs of OS GCs depicted in pseudo colors of geographic palette resemble two intersected hourglasses, with narrow excitatory and wide inhibitory zones. Two spots appear to be sufficient approximation of segments of preferred or orthogonal orientation and allow examining local properties of their receptive fields. Hence two-spot stimulation may become an effective instrument to reveal retinal synaptic map of OS GCs on the IPL level.

Key words: retina, ganglion cells, receptive fields

DOI: 10.31857/S0235009220010035

Cite: Aliper A. T., Damjanovic I., Zaichikova A. A., Maximova E. M., Maximov P. V. Tonkaya struktura retseptivnykh polei orientatsionno izbiratelnykh ganglioznykh kletok setchatki ryb [Fine structure of receptive fields of orientation-selective ganglion cells in goldfish retina]. Sensornye sistemy [Sensory systems]. 2020. V. 34(1). P. 19-24 (in Russian). doi: 10.31857/S0235009220010035


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