Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology

RETINAL AMACRINE CELL THAT PREVENTS EYE MOTION FROM BEING PERCEIVED

Source: Meister Lab

Gallery Image

Humans are extremely sensitive to external motion but are perceptually blind to ever-present eye jitter. Such jitter rigidly translates the visual world producing retina-wide correlations.Polyaxonal amacrine cells, such as this one from the salamander, exploit this fact by strongly inhibiting spatially distant ganglion cells via their long axons. Because they respond robustly to natural jitter (white waveform), they silence motion sensitive ganglion cells whenever the motion signal is the same across the retina.

When an object in the world moves, the motion signal in some ganglion cells will differ from that of the polyaxonal amacrine cells and hence we perceive motion.

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updated: 04/15/2014