Regularity of distribution of retinal ganglion cells in zones of high resolution was investigated in a new-born and
adult bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two criteria of cell regularity were emploited: (i) Distribution of inter-
cell nearest-neighbor distances (NND-distribution) and (ii) surrounding cell density around each cell (the spatial
autocorrelation function, SACF). NND-distributions of ganglion cells for both the new-born and adult subjects differed
from those of random arrays. This difference is considered an indication of regularity of cell distribution. NND-
distributions were similar for the new-born and adult subjects. SACFs of ganglion cells for both the new-born and adult
subjects differed from that of a random array by the presence of a “well”, i.e., an area around each of the cells were
other cells were rare or absent. By this feature, SACFs of the ganglion cells differed from those of random arrays. In
the adult subject, the radius of the “well” was larger than in the new-born one. This difference is considered an
indication of a better regularity of distribution in the adult subject than in the new-born one. The similarity of NND-
distributions in the new-born and adult animals is explained by a poorer informativity of the NND-analysis. It is
suggested that the spatial distribution of retinal ganglion cells in dolphins improves during the postnatal ontogenesis.
This improving increases the regularity of mutual positions of ganglion cells.
dolphin, retina, ganglion cells, nearest-neighbor distance, spatial autocorrelation
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