How do neurons analyze images in the retina of the eye
Basic research on vision: Researchers from Göttingen and Martinsried find mechanisms in the nerve cells of the eye that allow to differentiate between small, high-contrast and large low-contrast objects (January 2012).
Vision begins when light impinges onto the retina in the eye. Immediately, nerve cells in the retina become active. Specialized cells in the retina - the photoreceptors - absorb the light, convert it into electrical signals and send this information through their synapses to other nerve cells in the retina. Hitherto it was known: Each cell is responsible for a small portion of the visual field. But how do cells differentiate whether the light in this section originates from a small, bright object or from a large, dim one?
Tim Gollisch (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, University Medical Center Göttingen, Bernstein Center Munich and Göttingen) and Daniel Bölinger (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Bernstein Center Munich) have now shown that this task, the retina of the eye has two different types of nerve cells.
Read more in the complete press release by the University Medical Center Göttingen (in German)
Picture on preview page: © umg/Gollisch