Chapter

Retina

PETER STERLING and JONATHAN B. DEMB

in The Synaptic Organization of the Brain

Fifth edition

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159561
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864447 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159561.003.0006
 Retina

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The retina is a thin sheet of neural tissue lining the posterior hemisphere of the eye ball. It is actually part of the brain itself, evaginating from the lateral wall of the neural tube during embryonic development. The optic stalk grows out from the brain toward the ectoderm, inducing it to form an optical system (cornea, pupil, lens), which projects a physical image of the world onto the retina. The retina converts this optical image into a “neural image” for transmission down the optic nerve to a multitude of centers for further analysis. This chapter describes key cell types and their interconnection in parallel circuits. It discusses how the functional architecture of a circuit depends on the functional architecture of its synapses. It suggests how the flow of visual information shifts between circuits that are specialized for different light levels and how the circuits are switched.

Keywords: visual information; vision; eyes; synaptic connections

Chapter.  23836 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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