Retinal Computation

Retinal Computation

1st Edition - August 7, 2021

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  • Author: Greg Schwartz
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128198964
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128231777

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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

  • PART 1 Luminance

    1. Photon detection - Gregory Schwartz

    2. Luminance adaptation - Gregory Schwartz and Jared Levine

    3. Absolute luminance detection - Gregory Schwartz

    PART 2 Contrast

    4. Contrast sensitivity - Gregory Schwartz

    5. Contrast adaptation and sensitization - Gregory Schwartz

    6. Contrast suppression - Gregory Schwartz

    PART 3 Spatial features

    7. Texture sensitivity - Gregory Schwartz

    8. Surround suppression - Gregory Schwartz

    9. Object localization - Gregory Schwartz and Devon Greer

    10. Orientation selectivity - Gregory Schwartz

    PART 4 Motion

    11. Direction selectivity - Gregory Schwartz, Gautam B. Awatramani, and Ben Murphy-Baum

    12. Object motion sensitivity - Gregory Schwartz and David Swygart

    13. Motion anticipation - Gregory Schwartz

    14. Threat detection - Gregory Schwartz

    PART 5 Other computations

    15. Periodic sequence entrainment - Gregory Schwartz

    16. Color processing - Gregory Schwartz

Product details

  • No. of pages: 340
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: August 7, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128198964
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128231777

About the Author

Greg Schwartz

Gregory William Schwartz is the Derrick T. Vail Associate Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA. His lab works on computation in the mouse retina and early visual system at various levels, including neuronal biophysics, synapses and circuits, retina-to-brain connectivity, and innate visual behavior. In addition to mentoring and teaching topics related to the retina, Dr. Schwartz directs graduate courses on statistics and data science in neuroscience and scientific communication.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

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