Cone Pathways in the Mammalian Retina

Conference paper
Part of the Cell and Developmental Biology of the Eye book series (EYE)


The basic neurocircuitry underlying the highest visual acuity pathways in such animals as birds, primates and certain reptiles (Cajal, 1933) is thought to consist of a bipolar cell/ganglion cell chain connected in a one to one fashion with a single cone photoreceptor. In the monkey retina, for example, there are midget bipolar cells and midget ganglion cells that subserve an individual cone (Polyak, 1941), In 1969 it was reported that the cone midget bipolar pathways of the rhesus monkey retina consisted of a pair of bipolars characterized by different types of synaptic contact with the cone pedicles in the outer plexiform layer (OPL) (Kolb et al., 1969). One of the midget bipolars inserted dendritic terminals into the synaptic complex of the cone pedicle to make “invaginating” contacts beneath the synaptic ribbon (Figures 1,2). The other midget bipolar, in contrast, made synaptic contacts with the surface of the cone pedicle on either side of the invaginating elements (Figures 1,3). In addition the two midget bipolar types were found to have different termination levels of their axons in the inner plexiform layer (IPL).


Beta Cell Ganglion Cell Receptive Field Bipolar Cell Amacrine Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1984

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  • H. Kolb

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