Receptive field microstructure and dendritic geometry of retinal ganglion cells

Neuron. 2000 Aug;27(2):371-83. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)00044-1.


We studied the fine spatial structure of the receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells and its relationship to the dendritic geometry of these cells. Cells from which recordings had been made were microinjected with Lucifer yellow, so that responses generated at precise locations within the receptive field center could be directly compared with that cell's dendritic structure. While many cells with small receptive fields had domeshaped sensitivity profiles, the majority of large receptive fields were composed of multiple regions of high sensitivity. The density of dendritic branches at any one location did not predict the regions of high sensitivity. Instead, the interactions between a ganglion cell's dendritic tree and the local mosaic of bipolar cell axons seem to define the fine structure of the receptive field center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoquinolines
  • Microinjections
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Isoquinolines
  • lucifer yellow