Functional architecture of the foveola revealed in the living primate

PLoS One. 2018 Nov 28;13(11):e0207102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207102. eCollection 2018.


The primate foveola, with its high cone density and magnified cortical representation, is exquisitely specialized for high-resolution spatial vision. However, uncovering the wiring of retinal circuitry responsible for this performance has been challenging due to the difficulty in recording receptive fields of foveal retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo. In this study, we use adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) to image the calcium responses of RGCs in the living primate, with a stable, high precision visual stimulus that allowed us to localize the receptive fields of hundreds of foveal ganglion cells. This approach revealed a precisely radial organization of foveal RGCs, despite the many distortions possible during the extended developmental migration of foveal cells. By back projecting the line connecting RGC somas to their receptive fields, we have been able to define the 'physiological center' of the foveola, locating the vertical meridian separating left and right hemifields in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Fovea Centralis / cytology*
  • Fovea Centralis / diagnostic imaging
  • Fovea Centralis / metabolism*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism*
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Calcium