Direct visualization of the dendritic and receptive fields of directionally selective retinal ganglion cells

Science. 1992 Dec 18;258(5090):1949-52. doi: 10.1126/science.1470920.


Optical methods were used to locate the cell bodies of directionally selective ganglion cells in isolated rabbit retinas. These neurons detect the direction in which images move across the retinal surface and transmit that information to the brain. The receptive field of each identified cell was determined, after which the cell was injected with Lucifer yellow. An image of the receptive field border was then projected onto the fluorescent image of the dendrites, allowing precise comparison between them. The size of the receptive field matched closely the size of the dendritic arbor of that cell. This result restricts the types of convergence that can be postulated in modeling the mechanism of retinal directional selectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amidines
  • Animals
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Eye Movements*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Optic Nerve / physiology
  • Rabbits
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Video Recording


  • Amidines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • diamidino compound 253-50