From the Beginning

Ganglion Cell Classification to 1966
  • Jonathan Stone
Part of the Perspectives in Vision Research book series (PIVR)


In 1933, G. H. Bishop published a report entitled “Fibre Groups in the Optic Nerve.” This is perhaps the earliest study, morphological or physiological, to which present concepts of the parallel organization of the visual pathways can be traced. It was an electrophysiological study in which Bishop obtained oscillographic records of compound action potentials, generated in the excised optic nerve of the frog, and in the exposed but still-attached nerve of the rabbit, by a brief electrical shock applied to the nerve some distance from the recording lead. In both species, the compound action potential showed early and later components (Fig. 1.1), suggesting that the axons of the nerve were not homogeneous in the velocity at which they conduct action potentials, but rather fell into two or more groups (Bishop suggested three), with distinct conduction velocities and therefore distinct calibers. In the frog, the three groups had conduction velocities of 10, 3 and 0.4 m/sec; in the rabbit, the approximate values were 20–50, 7–17, and 4 m/sec. The report concluded with an optimistic prediction that the presence of conduction velocity groupings in the optic nerve would be a useful starting point for the further investigation of the visual pathways.


Optic Nerve Ganglion Cell Receptive Field Conduction Velocity Retinal Ganglion Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.School of AnatomyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations