The midget pathways of the primate retina

Doc Ophthalmol. 2003 Jan;106(1):67-81. doi: 10.1023/a:1022469002511.


Midget ganglion cells in the foveal slope, parafovea, near periphery and far periphery of human and monkey retinas have been studied by electron microscopy (EM). Five human foveal ganglion cells were reconstructed and found to share input from seven midget bipolar cells. The OFF center ganglion cells were in a one to one relationship with their midget bipolar cells. But the ON center cells received input from two to three midget bipolar cells, of which one was dominant in terms of numbers of ribbon synapses directed at the midget ganglion cell dendrites. In the human parafovea every midget ganglion cell received input from only one midget bipolar cell (previously published, Kolb and DeKorver, 1991). At 4 mm of eccentricity, the near peripheral ON midget ganglion cell received input from three midget bipolar cells and thus from three cones. In far peripheral retina (12 mm) the ON midget ganglion cell received input from three to four midget bipolar cells. The peripheral midget bipolar cells probably contacted three cones each: therefore between nine and 12 cones could have input to such midget ganglion cell. The relationship of the increasing dendritic field size and increasing convergence of cones to the midget ganglion cells with eccentricity from the fovea is discussed in terms of color processing and resolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / cytology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / cytology*
  • Macaca
  • Retina
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*