Visual motion on the retina activates a cohort of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). This population activity encodes multiple streams of information extracted by parallel retinal circuits. Motion processing in the retina is best studied in the direction-selective circuit. The main focus of this review is the neural basis of direction selectivity, which has been investigated in unprecedented detail using state-of-the-art functional, connectomic, and modeling methods. Mechanisms underlying the encoding of other motion features by broader RGC populations are also discussed. Recent discoveries at both single-cell and population levels highlight the dynamic and stimulus-dependent engagement of multiple mechanisms that collectively implement robust motion detection under diverse visual conditions.
Keywords: direction selectivity; motion detection; retina; starburst amacrine cell; synapses; synaptic circuit.