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Retinal ganglion cells and the magnocellular, parvocellular, and koniocellular subcortical visual pathways from the eye to the brain

Solomon, SG; (2021) Retinal ganglion cells and the magnocellular, parvocellular, and koniocellular subcortical visual pathways from the eye to the brain. Handbook of Clinical Neurology , 178 pp. 31-50. 10.1016/B978-0-12-821377-3.00018-0.

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Abstract

In primates including humans, most retinal ganglion cells send signals to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus. The anatomical and functional properties of the two major pathways through the LGN, the parvocellular (P) and magnocellular (M) pathways, are now well understood. Neurones in these pathways appear to convey a filtered version of the retinal image to primary visual cortex for further analysis. The properties of the P-pathway suggest it is important for high spatial acuity and red-green color vision, while those of the M-pathway suggest it is important for achromatic visual sensitivity and motion vision. Recent work has sharpened our understanding of how these properties are built in the retina, and described subtle but important nonlinearities that shape the signals that cortex receives. In addition to the P- and M-pathways, other retinal ganglion cells also project to the LGN. These ganglion cells are larger than those in the P- and M-pathways, have different retinal connectivity, and project to distinct regions of the LGN, together forming heterogenous koniocellular (K) pathways. Recent work has started to reveal the properties of these K-pathways, in the retina and in the LGN. The functional properties of K-pathways are more complex than those in the P- and M-pathways, and the K-pathways are likely to have a distinct contribution to vision. They provide a complementary pathway to the primary visual cortex, but can also send signals directly to extrastriate visual cortex. At the level of the LGN, many neurones in the K-pathways seem to integrate retinal with non-retinal inputs, and some may provide an early site of binocular convergence.

Type: Article
Title: Retinal ganglion cells and the magnocellular, parvocellular, and koniocellular subcortical visual pathways from the eye to the brain
Location: Netherlands
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-821377-3.00018-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-821377-3.00018-0
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Binocular vision, Color vision, Contrast sensitivity, Parallel pathways
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127383
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