Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 2631-2633


Retinotopic Development, Models of

  • Stephen J. EglenAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge Computational Biology Institute, University of Cambridge Email author 


Neural map formation, Retinocollicular​ development, Retinogeniculate​ development, Topographic map formation


Axons of neighboring retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) coming from the eye normally terminate in neighboring parts of target brain regions, such as the optic tectum of amphibians or the superior colliculus (SC) and lateral geniculate nucleus of mammals. This orderly arrangement of connections is termed a retinotopic map. Theoretical models of retinotopic map formation help us understand how these connections develop in early life and how maps might reform after surgical or experimental manipulations.

Detailed Description

What Is a Retinotopic Map?

A projection of connections is termed a topographic map when neighboring neurons in the source region project to neighboring regions in the target. Topographic maps are found in many sensory systems. Perhaps the most-studied topographic map is the projection from the retina to primary targets in the brain, which ensures that t ...

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