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.