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A Formula for Human Retinal Ganglion Cell Receptive Field Density as a Function of Visual Field Location

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A Formula for Human Retinal Ganglion Cell Receptive Field Density as a Function of Visual Field Location

Andrew B Watson. J Vis.

Abstract

In the human eye, all visual information must traverse the retinal ganglion cells. The most numerous subclass, the midget retinal ganglion cells, are believed to underlie spatial pattern vision. Thus the density of their receptive fields imposes a fundamental limit on the spatial resolution of human vision. This density varies across the retina, declining rapidly with distance from the fovea. Modeling spatial vision of extended or peripheral targets thus requires a quantitative description of midget cell density throughout the visual field. Through an analysis of published data on human retinal topography of cones and ganglion cells, as well as analysis of prior formulas, we have developed a new formula for midget retinal ganglion cell density as a function of position in the monocular or binocular visual field.

Keywords: acuity; eccentricity; midget retinal ganglion cell; perception; peripheral vision; retinal ganglion cells; retinal topography; vision; visual resolution.

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