Approach sensitivity in the retina processed by a multifunctional neural circuit Journal Article

Author(s): Münch, Thomas A; Da Silveira, Ravá A; Siegert, Sandra; Viney, Tim J; Awatramani, Gautam B; Roska, Botond M
Article Title: Approach sensitivity in the retina processed by a multifunctional neural circuit
Abstract: The detection of approaching objects, such as looming predators, is necessary for survival. Which neurons and circuits mediate this function? We combined genetic labeling of cell types, two-photon microscopy, electrophysiology and theoretical modeling to address this question. We identify an approach-sensitive ganglion cell type in the mouse retina, resolve elements of its afferent neural circuit, and describe how these confer approach sensitivity on the ganglion cell. The circuit's essential building block is a rapid inhibitory pathway: it selectively suppresses responses to non-approaching objects. This rapid inhibitory pathway, which includes AII amacrine cells connected to bipolar cells through electrical synapses, was previously described in the context of night-time vision. In the daytime conditions of our experiments, the same pathway conveys signals in the reverse direction. The dual use of a neural pathway in different physiological conditions illustrates the efficiency with which several functions can be accommodated in a single circuit.
Keywords: Electrophysiology; animal tissue; nerve cell; animal cell; electrical synapse; retina amacrine cell; retina bipolar ganglion cell; retina nerve cell; retina receptive field
Journal Title: Nature Neuroscience
Volume: 12
Issue 10
ISSN: 1546-1726
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group  
Date Published: 2009-10-01
Start Page: 1308
End Page: 1316
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2389
Notes: The study was supported by Friedrich Miescher Institute funds, a US Office of Naval Research Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology program grant, a Marie Curie Excellence Grant, a Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator grant, a National Centers of Competence in Research in Genetics grant and a European Union HEALTH-F2-223156 grant to B.R., a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship to T.A.M., the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique through the Unité Mixte de Recherche 8550 to R.A.d.S.
Open access: no