Rod inputs to macaque ganglion cells

Vision Res. 1997 Oct;37(20):2813-28. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(97)00108-9.


The strength of rod inputs to ganglion cells was assessed in the macaque retina at retinal positions within 3-15 deg eccentricity. The experimental paradigm used temporally modulated heterochromatic lights whose relative phase was varied. This paradigm provided a sensitive test to detect rod input. In parvocellular (PC) pathway cells, the gain of the cone-driven signal decreased with decrease in luminance. At 2 td a weak rod response, of a few impulses per second for 100% rod modulation, was revealed in about 60% of cells. For blue-on cells, the cone-driven response also decreased with retinal illuminance, but no rod response could be found. In magnocellular (MC) pathway cells, rod input was much more apparent. Responses became rod dominated at and below 20 td; we cannot exclude rod intrusion at higher retinal illuminances. Responsivity was maintained even at low retinal illuminances. Temporal-frequency dependent rod-cone interactions were observed in MC-pathway cells. Rod responses were of longer latency than cone responses, but there was no evidence of any difference in rod latency between parvocellular and magnocellular pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects
  • Visual Pathways / physiology