Retinal origin of direction selectivity in the superior colliculus

Xuefeng Shi, Jad Barchini, Hector Acaron Ledesma, David Koren, Yanjiao Jin, Xiaorong Liu, Wei Wei, Jianhua Cang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Detecting visual features in the environment, such as motion direction, is crucial for survival. The circuit mechanisms that give rise to direction selectivity in a major visual center, the superior colliculus (SC), are entirely unknown. We optogenetically isolate the retinal inputs that individual direction-selective SC neurons receive and find that they are already selective as a result of precisely converging inputs from similarly tuned retinal ganglion cells. The direction-selective retinal input is linearly amplified by intracollicular circuits without changing its preferred direction or level of selectivity. Finally, using two-photon calcium imaging, we show that SC direction selectivity is dramatically reduced in transgenic mice that have decreased retinal selectivity. Together, our studies demonstrate a retinal origin of direction selectivity in the SC and reveal a central visual deficit as a consequence of altered feature selectivity in the retina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages9
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 29 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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