1.25 - {Retinal} {Ganglion} {Cell} {Types} and {Their} {Central} {Projections}

Berson, D. M. "1.25 - {Retinal} {Ganglion} {Cell} {Types} and {Their} {Central} {Projections}." The {Senses}: {A} {Comprehensive} {Reference}. Ed. Richard MaslandThomas AlbrightThomas AlbrightRichard MaslandPeter DallosDonata OertelStuart FiresteinGary BeauchampM. Catherine H. D. D. H. K. Gardner. New York: Academic Press, 2008. 491-519.


Ganglion cells are the only retinal neurons communicating directly with the brain. It is well known that mammalian ganglion cells comprise more than a dozen types, clearly distinguishable from one another in structure and function. Each type also appears to send axons to a distinctive subset of the many central visual nuclei receiving direct retinal input. The implication is that each ganglion cell type forms a specialized channel sculpted by evolutionary pressures to fulfill specific visual functions. Though the outlines of this perspective have been clear for decades, many essential details are lacking. The goal of this chapter is to summarize the state of knowledge about where retinal axons are distributed in the brain and which types of ganglion cells contribute to these pathways. The primary focus is on ganglion cell types that appear to be conserved across mammalian phylogeny.




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