joe rojas-burke

science journalist @rojasburke

March 20, 2013 at 4:57pm
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Neuron cell types & their organization in the mammalian retina so beautifully illustrated by Santiago Ramón y Cajal more than 100 years ago. 

Knowing that “vision propagates from the outer towards the inner retina,” Cajal made a flow diagram of how signals might pass from the photoreceptors through the retina to the brain. Cajal regarded retinal organization as particularly strong support for his ideas about the functional polarity of neurons, i.e., that dendrites receive signals and that axons are the outputs. Although the idea of functional polarity and, more generally, of neurons not forming a syncyticum were first formulated by Cajal for the cerebellum, “the study of the retina shed light on the general problem and mechanism of action of nervous cells.” (Physiol Rev April 1, 1991 71:(2) 447-480)

Hat-tip to neurofile for the color image.

Notes

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    Wow this is amazing. Over 100 years ago! And you can see the rods and cones and everything.
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    :)
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