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Publications of the Week

Range, Routing and Kinetics of Rod Signaling in Primate Retina

By October 24, 2018No Comments

Stimulus- or context-dependent routing of neural signals through parallel pathways can permit flexible processing of diverse inputs. For example, work in mouse shows that rod photoreceptor signals are routed through several retinal pathways, each specialized for different light levels. This light-level-dependent routing of rod signals has been invoked to explain several human perceptual results, but it has not been tested in primate retina. Here we show, surprisingly, that rod signals traverse the primate retina almost exclusively through a single pathway – the dedicated rod bipolar pathway. Identical experiments in mouse and primate reveal substantial differences in how rod signals traverse the retina. These results require reevaluating human perceptual results in terms of flexible computation within this single pathway. This includes a prominent speeding of rod signals with light level – which we show is inherited directly from the rod photoreceptors themselves rather than from different pathways with distinct kinetics.