A numerical study of red-green colour opponent properties in the primate retina.
Momiji H., Hankins MW., Bharath AA., Kennard C.
It remains an important question whether neural function is mediated entirely by its tailored circuitry. A persistent debate in retinal colour vision is whether the centre and the surround of a ganglion cell receptive field receive dominant inputs either from L or M cones in an antagonistic manner (the selective wiring model) or mixed inputs (the mixed wiring model). Despite many anatomical, physiological and psychophysical experiments, a decisive conclusion has not been reached. An in-depth examination of what the pure mixed wiring mechanisms predicts is therefore important. These two models make different predictions both for the fovea and for the peripheral retina. Recently, a dynamic cellular model of the primate fovea was developed [Momiji et al. (2006) Vis. Res., 46, 365-381]. Unlike earlier models, it explicitly incorporates spatial non-uniformities, such as the random arrangement of L and M cones. Here, a related model is developed for the peripheral retina by incorporating anatomically reasonable degrees of convergence between cones, bipolar cells and ganglion cells. These two models, in which selective wiring mechanisms are absent, are applied to describe both foveal and peripheral colour vision. In numerical simulations, peripheral ganglion cells are less colour sensitive than foveal counterparts, but none-the-less display comparative sensitivities. Furthermore, peripheral colour sensitivity increases with temporal frequency, relative to foveal sensitivity. These results are congruent with recent physiological experiments.