Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 23–32 | Cite as

Retinal ganglion cell topography in juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis (Temminck and Schlegel)

  • Taeko Miyazaki


The retinal ganglion cell distribution, which is known to reflect fish feeding behavior, was investigated in juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis. During the course of examination, regularly arrayed cells with a distinctive larger soma, which may be regarded as motion-sensitive cells, were found. The topographical distribution of ordinary-sized ganglion cells, which is usually utilized to estimate fish visual axis and/or visual field characteristics, showed that the highest-density area, termed the area centralis, was localized in the ventral-temporal retina. The retinal topography of ordinary-sized ganglion cells seems to reflect the bluefin tuna’s foraging behavior; while cruising, cells in the area centralis may signal potential prey, such as small schooling pelagic fishes or squids, that are present in the upward-forward direction. Judging from morphological characteristics, the large ganglion cells localized in the small temporal retinal area seem to be equivalent to physiologically categorized off-center Y-cells of cat, which are stimulated by a transient dark spot in a bright visual field. It was inferred that presumed large off-center cells in the temporal retina detect movements of agile prey animals escaping from bluefin tuna as a silhouette against environmental light.


Pacific bluefin tuna Retinal ganglion cell Large ganglion cell Vision Feeding behavior 



The author gratefully acknowledges the staff of the Fisheries Laboratory, Kinki University, for supplying experimental specimens. Two anonymous referees kindly provided valuable comments and constructive suggestions on earlier drafts. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (no. 23570113) and the Kakushin Educational Foundation from Kakuda Pearl Co. Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of BioresourcesMie UniversityTsuJapan

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