gms | German Medical Science

25th Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society

German Retina Society

01.06. - 02.06.2012, Münster

Cellular circuitry and visual signal processing in the retina

Meeting Abstract

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  • Tim Gollisch - Universitäts-Augenklinik Göttingen

German Retina Society. 25th Annual Conference of the German Retina Society. Münster, 01.-02.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12rg14

doi: 10.3205/12rg14, urn:nbn:de:0183-12rg142

This is the translated version of the article.
The original version can be found at:

Published: May 30, 2012

© 2012 Gollisch.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The retina at the back of the eyeball is the first stage of visual processing. Photoreceptor cells convert the incoming light into electrical signals, whose temporal and spatial structure is then analyzed by a complex network of neurons. Retinal ganglion cells finally encode the extracted information in the form of action potentials and transmit these to various areas of the brain. Research in recent years has shown that the neural network of the retina exhibits a remarkable diversity and specificity. In the mammalian retina, depending on species, one can distinguish between 10 and 20 different types of ganglion cells, based on their morphology. These receive their inputs from specific subcircuits of the retinal network and thereby underlie the parallel processing of different aspects of the visual scene. However, which particular visual function are served by each of the different ganglion cell types, still largely remains to be elucidated. Yet, new experimental methods, which in animal models allow recording signals from hundreds of individual ganglion cells simultaneously, hold the promise of providing a refined understanding of the diverse processing pathways within the retina and will thereby also establish themselves as important tools for investigating various retinal disease patterns and respective therapeutic approaches.