Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Ganglion cells

  • Arne ValbergEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_276-2

Trichromatic theories of color mixture have had a tendency to overemphasize the role that L, M, and S-cone receptors have for color perception. The realization, however, that these physiological units can only explain the laws of additive color mixture and color matching (metamerism) has led to an end of this bias. Modern cone-opponent color vision models combine inputs of one excitatory cone type in the center and another inhibitory type (or types) in the surround of the cell’s receptive field (e.g., L-center−M-surround, giving an “L–M” ON-center cell, or an M-center−L-surround, “M–L” ON-center cell (also called increment cell). The opposite configuration is found in “–L + M” and “–M + L” OFF-center cells (decrement cells). Ganglion cells with S-cone inputs can be characterized as “M–(S + M)” and “S–(L + M)” cells [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This organization in spatially antagonistic receptive fields and parallel pathways has moved the scientific interest from the ancient idea of cones as...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Wiesel, T.N., Hubel, D.H.: Spatial and chromatic interactions in the lateral geniculate body of the rhesus monkey. J. Neurophysiol. 29, 1115–1156 (1966)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    DeValois, R.L.: Analysis and coding of color in the primate visual system. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 30, 567–579 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee, B.B., Martin, P.R., Valberg, A.: A physiological basis of heterochromatic flicker photometry demonstrated in the ganglion cells of the macaque retina. J. Physiol. 404, 323–347 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Derrington, A.M., Krauskopf, J., Lennie, P.: Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque. J. Physiol. 357, 242–265 (1984)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Valberg, A., Seim, T., Lee, B., Tryti, J.: Reconstruction of equidistant color space from responses of visual neurones of macaques. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A3, 1726–1734 (1986)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dacey, D.M.: The mosaic of midget ganglion cells in the human fovea. J. Neurosci. 13, 5334–5355 (1993)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dacey, D.M., Lee, B.B.: The “blue-on” opponent pathway in primate retina originates from a distinct bistratified ganglion cell type. Nature 367, 732–735 (1994)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hattar, S., Liao, H.W., Takao, M., Berson, D.M., Yau, K.W.: Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells: architecture, projections, and intrinsic photosensitivity. Science 295, 1065–1070 (2002)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Valberg, A., Seim, T.: Neural mechanisms of chromatic and achromatic vision. Color Res. Appl. 33, 433–443 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway