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Twelve chromatically opponent ganglion cell types in turtle retina

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 July 2008

F.A.F. ROCHA*
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Pará, Brazil
C.A. SAITO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Pará, Brazil
L.C.L. SILVEIRA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Pará, Brazil Núcleo de Medicina Tropical, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil
J.M. DE SOUZA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
D.F. VENTURA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Fernando Allan de Farias Rocha, Universidade Federal do Pará, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Fisiologia, 66075-900 Belém, Pará, Brazil. E-mail: rocha.f@hotmail.com

Abstract

The turtle retina has been extensively used for the study of chromatic processing mechanisms. Color opponency has been previously investigated with trichromatic paradigms, but behavioral studies show that the turtle has an ultraviolet (UV) channel and a tetrachromatic visual system. Our laboratory has been working in the characterization of neuronal responses in the retina of vertebrates using stimuli in the UV-visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the present investigation, we recorded color-opponent responses from turtle amacrine and ganglion cells to UV and visible stimuli and extended our previous results that UV color-opponency is present at the level of the inner nuclear layer. We recorded from 181 neurons, 36 of which were spectrally opponent. Among these, there were 10 amacrine (5%), and 26 ganglion cells (15%). Morphological identification of color-opponent neurons was possible for two ganglion cell classes (G17 and G22) and two amacrine cell classes (A22 and A23b). There was a variety of cell response types and a potential for complex processing of chromatic stimuli, with intensity- and wavelength-dependent response components. Ten types of color opponency were found in ganglion cells and by adding previous results from our laboratory, 12 types of opponent responses have been found. The majority of the ganglion cells were R+UVBG- and RG+UVB-color-opponents but there were other less frequent types of chromatic opponency. This study confirms the participation of a UV channel in the processing of color opponency in the turtle inner retina and shows that the turtle visual system has the retinal mechanisms to allow many possible chromatic combinations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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