Visual Stimulation Switches the Polarity of Excitatory Input to Starburst Amacrine Cells

Anna L. Vlasits, Remi Bos, Ryan D. Morrie, Cecile Fortuny, John G. Flannery, Marla B. Feller, Michal Rivlin-Etzion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) are tuned to motion in one direction. Starburst amacrine cells (SACs) are thought to mediate this direction selectivity through precise anatomical wiring to DSGCs. Nevertheless, we previously found that visual adaptation can reverse DSGCs's directional tuning, overcoming the circuit anatomy. Here we explore the role of SACs in the generation and adaptation of direction selectivity. First, using pharmacogenetics and two photon calcium imaging, we validate that SACs are necessary for direction selectivity. Next, we demonstrate that exposure to an adaptive stimulus dramatically alters SACs' synaptic inputs. Specifically, after visual adaptation, On-SACs lose their excitatory input during light onset but gain an excitatory input during light offset. Our data suggest that visual stimulation alters the interactions between rod-and cone-mediated inputs that converge on the terminals of On-cone BCs. These results demonstrate how the sensory environment can modify computations performed by anatomically defined neuronal circuits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1184
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual Stimulation Switches the Polarity of Excitatory Input to Starburst Amacrine Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this