a1 Visual Neurosciences Unit, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
a2 Department of Visual Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington
Receptive fields of ganglion cells have been studied in cats possessing a chronic, arrested lesion of central retinal degeneration. Lesions were characterized by an ophthalmoscopically sharp border separating apparently normal retina from the region of the lesion. Under direct ophthalmoscopic guidance, a succession of recordings was obtained from ganglion cells having cell bodies at various positions relative to the lesion. Cells located more than 1 deg outside the ophthalmoscopic border had normal visual sensitivity as assessed by area-threshold experiments. Inside the lesion cells within 1 deg of the border had reduced sensitivity which often precluded functional classification by the usual visual tests. Ganglion cells located more than 1 deg inside the border of large lesions were blind and some had abnormal patterns of maintained discharge of action potentials. Nevertheless, the antidromic latencies of these blind cells fell into the familiar conduction groups (T1/T2/T3). Receptive-field maps of cells near the border of the lesion often appeared truncated, with the missing portion of the field covered by the lesion. These observations were consistent with the abnormal form of area-thresholdcurves. Altlhough the responsiveness of cells near the lesion was abnormally low for grating stimuli, cutoff spatial frequency and orientation bias of these cells were within normal limits.
(Received July 20 1992)
(Accepted October 06 1992)
Reprint requests to: W.R. Levick, Visual Neurosciences Unit, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.