Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Preferential modulation of individual retinal ganglion cells by electrical stimulation
    Yunzab, M ; Soto-Breceda, A ; Maturana, M ; Kirkby, S ; Slattery, M ; Newgreen, A ; Meffin, H ; Kameneva, T ; Burkitt, AN ; Ibbotson, M ; Tong, W (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2022-08-01)
    Objective.Retinal prostheses have had limited success in vision restoration through electrical stimulation of surviving retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the degenerated retina. This is partly due to non-preferential stimulation of all RGCs near a single stimulating electrode, which include cells that conflict in their response properties and their contribution to visiual processing. Our study proposes a stimulation strategy to preferentially stimulate individual RGCs based on their temporal electrical receptive fields (tERFs).Approach.We recorded the responses of RGCs using whole-cell patch clamping and demonstrated the stimulation strategy, first using intracellular stimulation, then via extracellular stimulation.Main results. We successfully reconstructed the tERFs according to the RGC response to Gaussian white noise current stimulation. The characteristics of the tERFs were extracted and compared based on the morphological and light response types of the cells. By re-delivering stimulation trains that were composed of the tERFs obtained from different cells, we could preferentially stimulate individual RGCs as the cells showed lower activation thresholds to their own tERFs.Significance.This proposed stimulation strategy implemented in the next generation of recording and stimulating retinal prostheses may improve the quality of artificial vision.
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    Adaptive Surround Modulation of MT Neurons: A Computational Model
    Zarei Eskikand, P ; Kameneva, T ; Burkitt, AN ; Grayden, DB ; Ibbotson, MR (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-10-26)
    The classical receptive field (CRF) of a spiking visual neuron is defined as the region in the visual field that can generate spikes when stimulated by a visual stimulus. Many visual neurons also have an extra-classical receptive field (ECRF) that surrounds the CRF. The presence of a stimulus in the ECRF does not generate spikes but rather modulates the response to a stimulus in the neuron's CRF. Neurons in the primate Middle Temporal (MT) area, which is a motion specialist region, can have directionally antagonistic or facilitatory surrounds. The surround's effect switches between directionally antagonistic or facilitatory based on the characteristics of the stimulus, with antagonistic effects when there are directional discontinuities but facilitatory effects when there is directional coherence. Here, we present a computational model of neurons in area MT that replicates this observation and uses computational building blocks that correlate with observed cell types in the visual pathways to explain the mechanism of this modulatory effect. The model shows that the categorization of MT neurons based on the effect of their surround depends on the input stimulus rather than being a property of the neurons. Also, in agreement with neurophysiological findings, the ECRFs of the modeled MT neurons alter their center-surround interactions depending on image contrast.