Decoding visual information from a population of retinal ganglion cells.

  title={Decoding visual information from a population of retinal ganglion cells.},
  author={David K. Warland and Pamela Reinagel and Markus Meister},
  journal={Journal of neurophysiology},
  volume={78 5},
Decoding visual information from a population of retinal ganglion cells. J. Neurophysiol. 78: 2336-2350, 1997. This work investigates how a time-dependent visual stimulus is encoded by the collective activity of many retinal ganglion cells. Multiple ganglion cell spike trains were recorded simultaneously from the isolated retina of the tiger salamander using a multielectrode array. The stimulus consisted of photopic, spatially uniform, temporally broadband flicker. From the recorded spike… 

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Information transmission rates of cat retinal ganglion cells.

It is demonstrated that under certain stimulus conditions, visual information is encoded in the temporal structure of retinal spike trains and that a nonlinear decoding algorithm is needed to extract the temporally coded information.

Nonlinear decoding of a complex movie from the mammalian retina

A general principle is proposed by which downstream circuitry could discriminate between spontaneous and stimulus-driven activity based solely on higher-order statistical structure in the incoming spike trains, which originated in the spike-history dependence of neural responses.

How does a population of ganglion cells encode a visual stimulus ?

The working hypothesis is that if the input/output relationship of every ganglion cell was known, then the retina would know the code used by the retina to represent visual information and the brain would be able to reconstruct a visual scene to the same extent as the brain does.

Decoding of temporal visual information from electrically evoked retinal ganglion cell activities in photoreceptor-degenerated retinas.

The RGC responses in photoreceptor-degenerated retinas were shown to actually encode temporal information on visual input when they were stimulated by biphasic pulse trains with amplitude modulation, which supports the feasibility of encoding of temporal information by retinal prostheses.

Computing Complex Visual Features with Retinal Spike Times

This work feeds experimentally observed spike trains from a population of retinal ganglion cells to an integrate-and-fire model of post-synaptic integration, and finds that this model neuron can perform complex visual detection tasks in a single synaptic stage that would require multiple stages for neurons operating instead on neural spike counts.

Nonlinear decoding of natural images from large-scale primate retinal ganglion recordings

This work develops a scalable nonlinear decoding method to decode natural images from the responses of over a thousand simultaneously recorded units, and shows that this decoder significantly improves on the state of the art in decoding natural stimuli from large populations of neurons.

Accurate Representation of Light-intensity Information by the Neural Activities of Independently Firing Retinal Ganglion Cells.

  • S. RyuJ. YeC. KimY. GooKyung Hwan Kim
  • Biology, Computer Science
    The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology : official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology
  • 2009
The main purpose of this study was to determine the influence of inter-dependence among stimulated RGCs activities on decoding accuracy and to propose a stimulus encoding strategy based on the assumption that reliable encoding of visual information in RGC responses is required to enable successful visual perception.

High Accuracy Decoding of Dynamical Motion from a Large Retinal Population

It is shown that the bar’s position can be reconstructed from retinal activity with a precision in the hyperacuity regime using a linear decoder acting on 100+ cells, and this work took advantage of this unprecedented precision to explore the spatial structure of the retina's population code.

Extreme Synergy in a Retinal Code: Spatiotemporal Correlations Enable Rapid Image Reconstruction

A distributed, non-linear encoding strategy by using Principal Components Analysis to reconstruct simple visual stimuli from up to one million oscillatory pairwise correlations extracted on single trials from massively-parallel spike trains yielded dramatic improvements in signal/noise without sacrificing fine spatial detail.



Multineuronal codes in retinal signaling.

  • M. Meister
  • Computer Science, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1996
The evidence for a distributed coding scheme in the retinal output is reviewed and the performance limits of such codes are analyzed with simple examples, illustrating that they allow a powerful trade-off between spatial and temporal resolution.

The structure and precision of retinal spike trains.

  • M. BerryD. WarlandM. Meister
  • Biology, Computer Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1997
The reproducibility of retinal responses to repeated visual stimuli, in both tiger salamander and rabbit, is measured to show that the timing of a firing event conveyed several times more visual information than its spike count.

Concerted Signaling by Retinal Ganglion Cells

To analyze the rules that govern communication between eye and brain, visual responses were recorded from an intact salamander retina and concerted spikes encoded information not carried by individual cells; they may represent symbols in a multineuronal code for vision.

Adaptation of retinal processing to image contrast and spatial scale

It is reported that retinal ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina, adapt to both image contrast—the range of light intensities—and to spatial correlations within the scene, even at constant mean intensity.


  • R. FitzHugh
  • Biology
    The Journal of general physiology
  • 1957
The calculation of information rates using the index x provides an estimate of threshold at least as sensitive as those obtained during an experiment, which were made only after observing the responses to five to ten flashes of the same intensity.

Reading a Neural Code

Here the neural code was characterized from the point of view of the organism, culminating in algorithms for real-time stimulus estimation based on a single example of the spike train, applied to an identified movement-sensitive neuron in the fly visual system.

Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code

Spikes provides a self-contained review of relevant concepts in information theory and statistical decision theory about the representation of sensory signals in neural spike trains and a quantitative framework is used to pose precise questions about the structure of the neural code.

The Retina: An Approachable Part of the Brain

The clarity of writing and illustration that made The Retina a book of choice for a quarter century among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, vision researchers, and teachers of upper-level courses on vision is retained in Dowling's new easy-to-read Revised Edition.

Spatial frequency analysis in the visual system.

The aim of this paper is to explain why "spatial frequency analysis" is useful, and to review the insights into visual function that have resulted from its application.