How the retina works

Kalman Rubinson kr4 at
Thu Jul 1 12:47:17 EST 2004

I suggest a decent med school textbook like Kandel and Schwartz. It
may help you beyond a simplistic understanding.


On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 17:53:47 +0100, "Wil Hadden" <ask at> wrote:

> Hi,
>Sorry for the bit of cross-posting, I've had a couple of problems working out the best
>place for this post.
> I've done quite a lot of googling to find out how the retina works in simplistic terms
>to no avail.
>I have been working at Carver Mead's Silicon Retina in May 91's Scientific American and
>have worked out so far:
>Light hits the cones and rods, and passed on to the horizonal cells.
>The horizontal cells smooths or spacially averages the signal from the rods and cones,
>there is also some feedback to them.
>The rods and cones along with the horizontal cells send a signal to the bipolar cells
>through the triad synapse, which basically takes the difference between them.
>So far the effect of this basically detects edges and motion from the original image. Is
>this correct so far?
>Now I can't find much information on the amacrine and ganglion cells, except that the
>amacrine cells perform a similar role to the horizontal cells and the ganglion act as a
>conduit to the lateral geniculate in the thalamus.
> Could someone kindly expand on that a bit or point me to a site that can explain it in
>layman terms?
>Any help appreciated.
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