How the retina works

r norman rsn_ at
Thu Jul 1 13:44:15 EST 2004

On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 19:06:46 +0100, "Wil Hadden" <ask at> wrote:

>"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4 at> wrote in message
>news:jfj8e05nb2o8op2dchcfu1063ttjdmcjlr at
>> I suggest a decent med school textbook like Kandel and Schwartz. It
>> may help you beyond a simplistic understanding.
>> Kal
>I probably should get a book like that.
>What I'm trying to do is make a simulation of essentially the essence of how the various
>layers work, and then to later build on the output of that work.
>I'm currently at the stage of researching whether my plans make ant sense!
>Basically I don't want to be spiralling off doing research on retinas at least until I
>know there's merit in building a simplistic model.
>To that end I currently need an overview of the various layers.
In that case, what you need is far more than the introductory type
things I outlined in another response.

If you want your model to be anything other than simplistic, you need
to understand what real neurons do, as opposed to "cartoon" neurons
used in most "neural" models.  These are quite fine for research in
information processing, even for research in visual information or
image processing.  They are not at all suitable for research in how
the eye actually works.

You need to understand the details of signal conduction down branching
dendrites, about transmitter release by graded signals, about synaptic
plasticity.  You need to understand the details of microcircuit
anatomy of the retina.  You need to understand the details of
neurophysiology of the retina derived from electrophysiological

In short, you need to go through some hefty neuroscience text as just
a start and then work your way into the primary literature.  I
strongly recommend
  Kandel, Schwartz, and Jessel,
  Principles of Neural Science
  McGraw-Hill, 2000

  Squire et al.
  Fundamental Neuroscience, 2nd ed
  Academic Press 2002

  Synaptic Organization of the Brain, 5th Ed
  Oxford U. Press, 2003

You also must read
  Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons
  Oxford U Press, 1999



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