Spikes and ribbon synapses in early vision

Baden, Tom, Euler, Thomas, Weckstrom, Matti and Lagnado, Leon (2013) Spikes and ribbon synapses in early vision. Trends in Neurosciences, 36 (8). pp. 480-488. ISSN 0166-2236

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Image processing begins in the retina, where neurons respond with graded voltage changes that must be converted into spikes. This conversion from 'analog' to 'digital' coding is a fundamental transformation carried out by the visual system, but the mechanisms are still not well understood. Recent work demonstrates that, in vertebrates, graded-to-spiking conversion of the visual signal begins in the axonal system of bipolar cells (BCs), which transmit visual information through ribbon-type synapses specialized for responding to graded voltage signals. Here, we explore the evidence for and against the idea that ribbon synapses also transmit digital information. We then discuss the potential costs and benefits of digitization at different stages of visual pathways in vertebrates and invertebrates.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Neuroscience
Subjects: Q Science
Depositing User: Leon Lagnado
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 07:58
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2014 15:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45421
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