Direction selectivity in the retina is established independent of visual experience and cholinergic retinal waves

Neuron. 2008 May 22;58(4):499-506. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.03.013.


Direction selectivity in the retina requires the asymmetric wiring of inhibitory inputs onto four subtypes of On-Off direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs), each preferring motion in one of four cardinal directions. The primary model for the development of direction selectivity is that patterned activity plays an instructive role. Here, we use a unique, large-scale multielectrode array to demonstrate that DSGCs are present at eye opening, in mice that have been reared in darkness and in mice that lack cholinergic retinal waves. These data suggest that direction selectivity in the retina is established largely independent of patterned activity and is therefore likely to emerge as a result of complex molecular interactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / deficiency
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • nicotinic receptor beta2
  • Acetylcholine