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Cat retina and the sampling theorem; the relation of transient and sustained brisk-unit cut-off frequency to α and β-mode cell density

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The relationship of brisk transient and brisk-sustained unit cut-off frequencies to their respective array cut-off frequencies has been calculated by means of sampling theory from the corresponding α and β-mode cell densities at various retinal eccentricities. Interpretation of the results depends on whether on and off cells of each class are functionally homogeneous or heterogeneous populations. In agreement with expectations from sampling theory for a system involved in resolution tasks, it is found that the brisk-sustained system has less potential for undersampling and spurious imagery than the brisk-transient system, which is thought to play a different role. The brisk-sustained array could avoid such aliasing altogether if it is functionally heterogeneous. The differences between the two systems are similar to those between insect eyes respectively optimised for high resolution vision or the detection of high velocity image motion.

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Hughes, A. Cat retina and the sampling theorem; the relation of transient and sustained brisk-unit cut-off frequency to α and β-mode cell density. Exp Brain Res 42, 196–202 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00236906

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Key words

  • Retina
  • Sampling theorem
  • Brisk, X and Y, ganglion cells
  • Cat
  • Visual acuity