Spatially displaced excitation contributes to the encoding of interrupted motion by a retinal direction-selective circuit

Elife. 2021 Jun 7;10:e68181. doi: 10.7554/eLife.68181.


Spatially distributed excitation and inhibition collectively shape a visual neuron's receptive field (RF) properties. In the direction-selective circuit of the mammalian retina, the role of strong null-direction inhibition of On-Off direction-selective ganglion cells (On-Off DSGCs) on their direction selectivity is well-studied. However, how excitatory inputs influence the On-Off DSGC's visual response is underexplored. Here, we report that On-Off DSGCs have a spatially displaced glutamatergic receptive field along their horizontal preferred-null motion axes. This displaced receptive field contributes to DSGC null-direction spiking during interrupted motion trajectories. Theoretical analyses indicate that population responses during interrupted motion may help populations of On-Off DSGCs signal the spatial location of moving objects in complex, naturalistic visual environments. Our study highlights that the direction-selective circuit exploits separate sets of mechanisms under different stimulus conditions, and these mechanisms may help encode multiple visual features.

Keywords: dendrites; direction selectivity; direction-selective ganglion cells; mouse; neuroscience; retinal circuitry; synaptic exciation; visual motion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual*
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials*
  • Female
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motion Perception*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Fields*


  • Glutamic Acid

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.vq83bk3s8