The human Retinal Functional Unit

Robert Galambos, G. Juhász, Magor Lorincz, N. Szilágyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has long been known that readers of this page will move their eyes from one fixation to the next two to four times per second. It follows from this fact that each fixation triggers a unique optic nerve volley lasting up to 300 ms that contains all the information the retina processes between fixations. Here we give such volleys a name (Retinal Functional Unit, RFU) and use human subjects and interstimulus interval (ISI) experiments to define some of their properties. We report that RFUs can be dissected into an initial fraction that reaches the cortex and a later fraction that may not, depending on the ISI between successive stimuli. During the dissection process the perceptions of the stimuli change in an orderly way, such that successive thresholds of "twoness", color, and duration are reached as a function of increasing ISI. We conclude that volleys from the tens or hundreds of thousands of active axons contained in every RFU exit the retina in a precisely determined temporal order, and add this conclusion to three others for which we have already published the supporting data. 1) The mammalian retina normally takes about 300 ms to process a visual stimulus. 2) The ca. 300 ms end product, an RFU, contains in neuronal form all the photochemical information acquired during one fixation. 3) These information-rich volleys reach the cortex with little or no change thanks to monosynaptic transfer in the thalamus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

Fingerprint

Retina
Optic Nerve
Thalamus
Names
Axons
Dissection
Color

Keywords

  • Ganglion cell
  • Interstimulus interval
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

The human Retinal Functional Unit. / Galambos, Robert; Juhász, G.; Lorincz, Magor; Szilágyi, N.

In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 57, No. 3, 09.2005, p. 187-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Galambos, Robert ; Juhász, G. ; Lorincz, Magor ; Szilágyi, N. / The human Retinal Functional Unit. In: International Journal of Psychophysiology. 2005 ; Vol. 57, No. 3. pp. 187-194.
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