How Does the Inner Retinal Network Shape the Ganglion Cells Receptive Field? A Computational Study

Evgenia Kartsaki, Gerrit Hilgen, Evelyne Sernagor, Bruno Cessac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider a model of basic inner retinal connectivity where bipolar and amacrine cells interconnect and both cell types project onto ganglion cells, modulating their response output to the brain visual areas. We derive an analytical formula for the spatiotemporal response of retinal ganglion cells to stimuli, taking into account the effects of amacrine cells inhibition. This analysis reveals two important functional parameters of the network: (1) the intensity of the interactions between bipolar and amacrine cells and (2) the characteristic timescale of these responses. Both parameters have a profound combined impact on the spatiotemporal features of retinal ganglion cells’ responses to light. The validity of the model is confirmed by faithfully reproducing pharmacogenetic experimental results obtained by stimulating excitatory DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) expressed on ganglion cells and amacrine cells’ subclasses, thereby modifying the inner retinal network activity to visual stimuli in a complex, entangled manner. Our mathematical model allows us to explore and decipher these complex effects in a manner that would not be feasible experimentally and provides novel insights in retinal dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1083
Number of pages43
JournalNeural Computation
Issue number6
Early online date17 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2024

Cite this