Correlated firing among major ganglion cell types in primate retina

Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA.
The Journal of Physiology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 10/2010; 589(Pt 1):75-86. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.193888
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper examines the correlated firing among multiple ganglion cell types in the retina. For many years it has been known that ganglion cells exhibit a tendency to fire simultaneously more or less frequently than would be predicted by chance. However, the particular patterns of correlated activity in the primate retina have been unclear. Here we reveal systematic, distance-dependent correlations between different ganglion cell types. For the most part, the patterns of activity are consistent with a model in which noise in cone photoreceptors propagates through common retinal circuitry, creating correlations among ganglion cell signals.
Retinal ganglion cells exhibit substantial correlated firing: a tendency to fire nearly synchronously at rates different from those expected by chance. These correlations suggest that network interactions significantly shape the visual signal transmitted from the eye to the brain. This study describes the degree and structure of correlated firing among the major ganglion cell types in primate retina. Correlated firing among ON and OFF parasol, ON and OFF midget, and small bistratified cells, which together constitute roughly 75% of the input to higher visual areas, was studied using large-scale multi-electrode recordings. Correlated firing in the presence of constant, spatially uniform illumination exhibited characteristic strength, time course and polarity within and across cell types. Pairs of nearby cells with the same light response polarity were positively correlated; cells with the opposite polarity were negatively correlated. The strength of correlated firing declined systematically with distance for each cell type, in proportion to the degree of receptive field overlap. The pattern of correlated firing across cell types was similar at photopic and scotopic light levels, although additional slow correlations were present at scotopic light levels. Similar results were also observed in two other retinal ganglion cell types. Most of these observations are consistent with the hypothesis that shared noise from photoreceptors is the dominant cause of correlated firing. Surprisingly, small bistratified cells, which receive ON input from S cones, fired synchronously with ON parasol and midget cells, which receive ON input primarily from L and M cones. Collectively, these results provide an overview of correlated firing across cell types in the primate retina, and constraints on the underlying mechanisms.

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Available from: Greg D Field, Sep 25, 2015
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    • "t al . , 2002 , 2004 ) , amphibian ( salamander : Brivanlou et al . , 1998 ) , and various mammalian retinas ( Mastronarde , 1983a , b , c ; DeVries , 1999 ; Hu and Bloomfield , 2003 ; Schnitzer and Meister , 2003 ; Schubert et al . , 2005a , b ; Völgyi et al . , 2005 , 2009 ; Shlens et al . , 2006 ; Hoshi et al . , 2006 ; Trong and Rieke , 2008 ; Greschner et al . , 2011 ) . Ganglion cell spike synchronization has been sug - gested to encode information of the visual scene ( Meister and Berry , 1999 ; Schwartz et al . , 2007 ) to predict stimulus modulation ( Schwartz et al . , 2007 ; Schwartz and Berry , 2008 ) or to serve tem - poral binding of information or salient signaling along the visual axis ( "
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    • "Recordings from large populations of RGCs from the isolated macaque retina in vitro, carried out with multi-electrode arrays, have provided new information about the retinal output, beyond the properties of individual cells. In agreement with the previous work of Mastronarde (1983) on the cat retina, Greschner et al. (2011) found that cells of a given type tended to have correlated firing. The correlations declined with the retinal distance between the cells. "
    Edited by Jack Werner and Leo Chalupa, 01/2013: chapter 30; MIT press.
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    • "From this mosaic we extracted the pairwise distances between the centers of the respective fields. The amount of synchronized firing between pairs of RGCs of the same type declines systematically with distance between the two cells (Mastronarde, 1983; Meister et al., 1995; De Vries, 1999; Shlens et al., 2006; Greschner, 2010). This well described behavior was used as a benchmark against which we tested the capability of the various spike train distances to assign higher values to more distant cell pairs (or lower values to more distant cell pairs in case of the correlation coefficient C). "
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