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Thomas Muench, Saad Idrees, Felix Franke, Maria M Korympidou, Matthias-Philipp Baumann, Timm Schubert, Katrin Franke, Ziad Hafed; Saccadic suppression by way of retinal image processing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):823.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During natural vision, eye movements such as saccades result in frequent image shifts across the retina. We recently showed that the perceptual phenomenon of “saccadic suppression” is reflected in the retinal output, namely that saccade-like image shifts across the retina suppress retinal responses to subsequent stimuli (Idrees et. al., 2019). Here, we show the detailed mechanisms underlying such retinal saccadic suppression.
With multielectrode arrays, we recorded >1000 retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in isolated mouse retina. We showed probe flashes after background image translations mimicking saccade-induced retinal image shifts. To investigate mechanisms and spatial origins of retinal saccadic suppression, we varied background image statistics and probe stimulus contrast, and we applied pharmacological and spatial manipulations. We also recorded the output of photoreceptors with an intensity-based glutamate-sensitive fluorescent reporter (iGluSnFR), expressed in horizontal cells post-synaptic to cone terminals.
RGC responses to probe flashes, presented after saccade-like image shifts (“saccades”), were strongly suppressed compared to responses to the same flashes presented in isolation. This occurred robustly across different RGC cell types. Suppression properties depended on the delay between saccade and probe flash, and on the statistical properties of the background scene. In ON RGCs, suppression lasted up to 1s; OFF RGCs recovered much faster. Both ON and OFF RGCs received a component of suppression from their receptive field centers. This component likely arises from adaptation within the photoreceptors, visible in suppressed glutamate output to probe flashes after image shifts. ON RGCs were suppressed by two additional components originating from their receptive field surrounds, with one component coming from GABAergic wide field amacrine cells. Suppression did not depend on saccade-like velocity profiles of the image shifts but was triggered by visual transients.
Retinal responses are suppressed to a stimulus following a visual transient. Such transients occur naturally across saccades such that saccadic suppression, a known perceptual phenomenon, already starts in the retina. This suppression results from general mechanisms (photoreceptor-intrinsic adaptation) and from specific spatio-temporal retinal image processing, and it occurs for any scenario involving stimulus-stimulus interactions.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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