Size, scatter and coverage of ganglion cell receptive field centres in the cat retina

J Physiol. 1979 Jun;291:117-41. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1979.sp012803.


1. Receptive field centre sizes of brisk-sustained (X) and brisk-transient (Y) ganglion cells of the cat retina were assessed by three different methods: small spot mapping, area threshold method and spatial resolution. 2. Centre sizes of brisk-sustained (X) cells increased from 20' in the central area to about 70' at an eccentricity of 4.5 mm, centre sizes of brisk-transient (Y) cells from 50' in the central area to about 140' at 5 mm eccentricity. 3. The scatter of centre sizes at one retinal location was measured by recording as many ganglion cells as possible in one cat in a small field of retina. The centre sizes of the individual classes were homogeneous and exhibited only a small amount of scatter. 4. The coverage of the retina by the different ganglion cell classes was assessed from their density and their receptive field centre area. At every retinal location the receptive field centres of seven to twenty brisk-sustained (X) cells and of three to six brisk-transient (Y) cells were found to overlap. Sluggish concentric and non-concentric cells taken together have a coverage factor of about 60.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Biometry
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Retina / anatomy & histology
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Visual Fields