July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Temporal properties of the receptive field surround of rat retinal ganglion cells in vivo
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christopher L Passaglia
    University of South Florida, Florida, United States
  • Nick Johnson
    University of South Florida, Florida, United States
  • Walter Heine
    Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Christopher Passaglia, None; Nick Johnson, None; Walter Heine, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH R01 EY027037
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 5287. doi:
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      Christopher L Passaglia, Nick Johnson, Walter Heine; Temporal properties of the receptive field surround of rat retinal ganglion cells in vivo. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5287.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : The majority of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) exhibit an excitatory receptive field (RF) center and an antagonistic RF surround. The temporal properties of the surround mechanism have been characterized for a range of animals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the RF surround dynamics of rat RGCs.

Methods : Spike discharges from RGC axons were recorded with a tungsten-in-glass microelectrode in the optic chiasm of anaesthetized rats. Recorded cells were stimulated with drifting sinewave gratings of low and high spatial frequency (SF) and with spots and annuli of varying size modulated in time by a pseudorandom binary noisy sequence (PRBS). Grating responses were quantified in terms of temporal tuning curves, which were constructed by dividing response amplitude to a given stimulus frequency by the stimulus contrast that evoked a linear response. Spot and annuli responses were quantified in terms of impulse response functions, which were constructed by cross-correlating the stimulus and spike train. A biphasic index (BI) was computed to characterize impulse response shape.

Results : Temporal tuning curves were considerably more bandpass in shape for low SF gratings than for high SF gratings that preferentially stimulate the RF center, owing to a marked attenuation of responses to slow-moving gratings. In addition, temporal tuning curves showed peak responsivity at significantly higher frequency (10-20 Hz) for low SF gratings than for high SF gratings. Consistent with these results, impulse response functions were significantly more biphasic in shape (BI>0.8) for annuli that stimulated the RF surround than for spots that stimulated the RF center. Impulse response functions for annuli that stimulated only outermost region of the RF surround often included a second peak that was suppressed by increasing stimulus contrast.

Conclusions : The temporal dynamics of the RF surround of rat RGCs are much faster than the RF center. The organization of the antagonistic RF surround is more complex, involving near and far mechanisms that appear to interact in a disinhibitory manner.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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