Development of Ganglion Cells in the Retina of the Cat

  • Anne C. Rusoff
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 27)


The eye of a cat grows significantly between birth and adulthood. Part of this growth occurs after the kitten has begun to exhibit visually guided behavior. Both the neural retina and the optical components of the eye participate in the growth. Unless these two components of the eye grow at the same rate, individual retinal neurons will receive spatial information from different amounts of the visual world at different times. Measurements of dendritic fields of retinal ganglion cells, specifically beta cells, show that many beta cells have reached their adult size at three weeks after birth, many weeks before the optical components of the eye are mature. Thus, the amount of visual world from which a ganglion cell receives spatial information must gradually decrease as the optical components of the eye grow. Measurements of the receptive-field center size of ganglion cells from kittens of various ages provide additional support for this idea.


Beta Cell Ganglion Cell Retinal Ganglion Cell Optical Component Ganglion Cell Layer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne C. Rusoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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