Direction selectivity in the retina: symmetry and asymmetry in structure and function

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Feb 8;13(3):194-208. doi: 10.1038/nrn3165.


Visual information is processed in the retina to a remarkable degree before it is transmitted to higher visual centres. Several types of retinal ganglion cells (the output neurons of the retina) respond preferentially to image motion in a particular direction, and each type of direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) is comprised of multiple subtypes with different preferred directions. The direction selectivity of the cells is generated by diverse mechanisms operating within microcircuits that rely on independent neuronal processing in individual dendrites of both the DSGCs and the presynaptic neurons that innervate them.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Amacrine Cells / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*