Translations:On-Off Direction-Selective Ganglion Cell/2/en

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Direction selective (DS) cells in the retina are neurons that respond differentially to the direction of a visual stimulus. The term is used to describe a group of neurons that preferentially "gives a vigorous discharge of impulses when a stimulus is moved through its receptive field in one direction." [1] There are three known types of DS cells in the vertebrate retina of the mouse, ON/OFF DS Ganglion Cells, ON DS Ganglion Cells (which respond to the leading edge of a bright stimulus) and OFF DS Ganglion Cells (which respond only to the trailing edge of a bright stimulus). Each has a distinctive physiology and anatomy.[2] The rest of this page will only apply to ON/OFF DS Ganglion Cells.


Diagram showing the response of ON/OFF DSGC to stimulus in the null and preferred direction. Inputs are multiplied in the preferred direction, and suppressed in the null direction.[3]

ON/OFF DSGCs act as local motion detectors. If a bright stimulus (e.g., a light) is moving in the direction of the cell's preference, the cell will fire at both the leading and trailing edge. An important contrast is that bright stimuli moving opposite the preferred direction (called the null direction), elicit little or no response [2]. The response to stimulus is independent of many stimulus properties, including size, shape, color, and speed.

These cells have a center-surround structure, and the size of the dendrite correlates with the size of the center receptive field. [1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 H. B. Barlow and W. R. Levick (1965) The Mechanism of Directionally Selective Units in Rabbit's Retina J. Physiol. 178: 477-504
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Motion Sensing in Vision." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (Accessed April 02, 2012).
  3. D. I. Vaney, B. Sivyer, and W. R. Taylor (2012). Direction selectivity in the retina: symmetry and asymmetry in structure and function. Nature Neuroscience 13 (3): 194-208