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How Diverse Retinal Functions Arise from Feedback at the First Visual Synapse.

Neuron | Jun 15, 2018

Many brain regions contain local interneurons of distinct types. How does an interneuron type contribute to the input-output transformations of a given brain region? We addressed this question in the mouse retina by chemogenetically perturbing horizontal cells, an interneuron type providing feedback at the first visual synapse, while monitoring the light-driven spiking activity in thousands of ganglion cells, the retinal output neurons. We uncovered six reversible perturbation-induced effects in the response dynamics and response range of ganglion cells. The effects were enhancing or suppressive, occurred in different response epochs, and depended on the ganglion cell type. A computational model of the retinal circuitry reproduced all perturbation-induced effects and led us to assign specific functions to horizontal cells with respect to different ganglion cell types. Our combined experimental and theoretical work reveals how a single interneuron type can differentially shape the dynamical properties of distinct output channels of a brain region.

Pubmed ID: 29937281 RIS Download

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