Computations in the Vertebrate Retina: Gain Enhancement, Differentiation and Motion Discrimination

Unknown author (1986-09-01)

The vertebrate retina, which provides the visual input to the brain and its main interface with the outside world, is a very attractive model system for approaching the question of the information processing role of biological mechanisms of nerve cells. It is as yet impossible to provide a complete circuit diagram of the retina, but it is now possible to identify a few simple computations that the retina performs and to relate them to specific biophysical mechanisms and circuit elements. In this paper we consider three operations carried out by most retinae: amplification, temporal differentiation, and computation of the direction of motion of visual patterns.