Modeling cat retinal beta-cell arrays

Xue J. Zhan*, John B. Troy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


There were three objectives to the work undertaken for this paper: (1) to provide a comprehensive characterization of the statistical properties of arrays of β-cell somata; (2) to develop a model that simulates cellular arrays with the same properties; and (3) to use this model to examine whether the array of β-cells should be viewed as one array or as two arrays, one each for its OFF- and ON-center cells. β-cells are morphological correlates of the electrophysiological X-cells and those β-cells whose dendrites stratify within the outer and inner sublamina of the retina's inner plexiform layer correspond, respectively, to OFF- and ON-center X-cells. Arrays of peripheral β-cell somata from two retinas were studied. A Delaunay triangulation and a Voronoi tessellation were generated for each array and measures derived from these constructs used to analyze the arrays' spatial organization. As others have shown previously with a less complete statistical characterization, we found that the arrays of OFF- and ON-center β-cells have similar spatial properties and are more regular than the array of all β-cells. We developed a model to simulate cellular arrays with spatial properties like those of arrays of β-cells. A good fit between model and real arrays was found when the model assumed an explicit spatial dependence between the placement of OFF- and ON-center cells. We propose therefore that a single array of β-cells formed of both OFF- and ON-center cells is consistent with the data currently available for β-cell somatic arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Delaunay triangulation
  • Neural image
  • Simulation
  • Spatial correlogram
  • Visual system
  • Voronoi tessellation
  • X-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology


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