Spatial properties of horizontal cell responses in the cat retina

Vision Res. 1990;30(9):1257-75. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(90)90001-2.


The spatial properties of horizontal cells in the cat retina have been studied by means of intracellular recordings in the optically intact, in situ, eye. The spread of potentials in the horizontal cell layer and the spatial summation properties have been investigated using "white light" stimuli in several different configurations. Area-response curves were measured with flashing spots carefully centered on the receptive field. The lateral spread of potentials was studied using long, narrow slits of light and circular spots of different sizes at different positions in the receptive field. Two-dimensional receptive field profiles showed that the receptive field structure was, both on a large scale and at higher resolutions, relatively homogeneous and isotropic. The size and shape of the receptive fields have been characterized by applying a simplified version of the model proposed by Naka and Rushton (1967) of electrical coupling in the horizontal cells layer in fish. Results show that the model describes the variation of response amplitude reasonably well both as a function of spot size and spot or slit position. However, deviations were found for area-response curves measured at higher light intensities and for receptive field profiles measured with relatively small spots. Furthermore, the estimated length constants resulting from the different experiments were not in agreement. Different model parameters were needed in order to describe the spatial summation properties and the lateral spread of potentials respectively. It is concluded that passive electrical spread and linear summation of potentials cannot account for the observed spatial properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Light
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Neurological
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*