Information Processing in the Outer Retina
ROYAL SIGNALS AND RADAR ESTABLISHMENT MALVERN (UNITED KINGDOM)
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Analogue electronics appears to offer the most direct way to mimic the information processing which occurs in the dendrites of neurons. Unfortunately, analogue electronics suffers from a restricted dynamic range, a problem which also occurs in neurons. The study, reported in this memorandum, was therefore initiated to understand how biological neural systems overcome the problems inherent in employing components with an inadequate dynamic range. The inadequacy of the dynamic range available in neurons is most apparent in retinas which deal with an input signal covering 5 decades using components with a dynamic range of less than 2 decades. The predictive encoding hypothesis which has been proposed to explain the function of the outer retina is adopted as a framework for understanding the neurological data discussed. Then, three different, independently evolved, retinas are considered to demonstrate the different implementations of the same underlying principle.
- Medicine and Medical Research