High-density electrode recordings reveal strong and specific connections between retinal ganglion cells and midbrain neurons

Jérémie Sibille, Carolin Gehr, Jonathan I Benichov, Hymavathy Balasubramanian, Kai Lun Teh, Tatiana Lupashina, Daniela Vallentin & Jens Kremkow

The superior colliculus is a midbrain structure that plays important roles in visually guided behaviors in mammals. Neurons in the superior colliculus receive inputs from retinal ganglion cells but how these inputs are integrated in vivo is unknown. Here, we discovered that high-density electrodes simultaneously capture the activity of retinal axons and their postsynaptic target neurons in the superior colliculus, in vivo. We show that retinal ganglion cell axons in the mouse provide a single cell precise representation of the retina as input to superior colliculus. This isomorphic mapping builds the scaffold for precise retinotopic wiring and functionally specific connection strength. Our methods are broadly applicable, which we demonstrate by recording retinal inputs in the optic tectum in zebra finches. We find common wiring rules in mice and zebra finches that provide a precise representation of the visual world encoded in retinal ganglion cells connections to neurons in retinorecipient areas.

Nat Commun 13, 5218 (2022)


midbrain neuronsretinal ganglion cellsretinotectal circuit
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