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Retinal Computation - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128198964

Retinal Computation

1st Edition

Author: Greg Schwartz
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128198964
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st June 2021
Page Count: 300
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Retinal Computation summarizes current progress in defining the computations performed by the retina, also including the synaptic and circuit mechanisms by which they are implemented. Each chapter focuses on a single retinal computation that includes the definition of the computation and its neuroethological purpose, along with the available information on its known and unknown neuronal mechanisms. All chapters contain end-of-chapter questions associated with a landmark paper, as well as programming exercises. This book is written for advanced graduate students, researchers and ophthalmologists interested in vision science or computational neuroscience of sensory systems.

While the typical textbook's description of the retina is akin to a biological video camera, the real retina is actually the world’s most complex image processing machine. As part of the central nervous system, the retina converts patterns of light at the input into a rich palette of representations at the output. The parallel streams of information in the optic nerve encode features like color, contrast, orientation of edges, and direction of motion. Image processing in the retina is undeniably complex, but as one of the most accessible parts of the central nervous system, the tools to study retinal circuits with unprecedented precision are up to the task. This book provides a practical guide and resource about the current state of the field of retinal computation.

Key Features

  • Provides a practical guide on the field of retinal computation
  • Summarizes and clearly explains important topics such as luminance, contrast, spatial features, motion and other computations
  • Contains discussion questions, a landmark paper, and programming exercises within each chapter


Graduate students, researchers and clinicians (opthalmologists) in vision science, computational neuroscience and sensory systems

Table of Contents

SECTION 1 Introduction
1. Introduction

SECTION 2 Luminance
2. Photon Detection
3. Luminance Adaptation
4. Absolute Luminance Detection

SECTION 3 Contrast
5. Contrast Sensitivity
6. Contrast Adaptation and Sensitization
7. Contrast Suppression

SECTION 4 Spatial features
8. Texture Sensitivity
9. Surround Suppression
10. Prey detection
11. Orientation Selectivity

SECTION 5 Motion
12. Direction Selectivity
13. Object Motion Sensitivity
14. Motion Anticipation
15. Predator Detection

SECTION 6 Other computations
16. Periodic Sequence Entrainment
17. Color Opponency


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2021
1st June 2021
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Greg Schwartz

Greg Schwartz received a B.S./M.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2003, where his thesis work investigated the influence of context in human recognition memory. He began studying visual processing in the retina during his graduate work in the laboratory of Michael J. Berry at Princeton University where he received his Ph.D. in 2008. Dr. Schwartz continued studying the retina as a post-doc in the laboratory of Fred Rieke at the University of Washington where he also collaborated closely with Rachel Wong to link anatomical and functional measurements into bottom-up retinal circuit models. Since joining the faculty at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in 2013, Dr. Schwartz’s lab has uncovered new computations in retinal circuits and revealed the synaptic mechanisms that support these computations. He received the NIH New Innovator Award (DP2) in 2015. The lab has published 8 papers since 2015, revealing many new cell types and circuits. The New Innovator Award has enabled the lab to branch out in a number of new directions, including transcriptomics, retina to brain connectivity, neurovascular coupling, and retinal control of myopia development.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

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