About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 20 November 2022
Manuscript Submission Deadline 20 January 2023

This is a remarkable time to study the vertebrate retina, either as a model for the brain or to understand the first steps in vison. We have known about the diversity of retinal neurons and glia for more than one hundred years, and we are now extending these findings and making new discoveries about retinal cell types by analyzing gene expression in single cells. We have made significant progress toward our ultimate goals of describing the neural circuits in the retinas at the level of connections between identified populations of neurons and understanding neuronal and glial cell function at the molecular level. We have also made great strides toward understanding retinal development and the etiology of retinal diseases. Physiologists are now using more realistic stimuli and modern analytical methods to analyze the mechanisms underlying light responses of retinal neurons, and this has led to more accurate computational models of neural circuits in the retina.

My colleague at the McGovern Medical School in Houston, Steve Massey, has made many important contributions to this field, both as a researcher and as a mentor, and he is planning his retirement. Judith Ogilvie, Christophe Ribelayga, Chai-an Mao and I will dedicate this issue to him and plan to publish some of his latest work.

This Research Topic will include mini-reviews and brief communications about neurons and neural circuits in vertebrate retinas. The scope will be very broad, including anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and computational approaches to this topic.

Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:
• Development. morphology and synaptic connections of neuronal types
• Light responses, spontaneous activity and membrane properties of retinal neurons
• Gene expression and other aspects of cell biology of identified retinal neurons
• Release of neurotransmitters and modulators and their effects in the retina
• Structure and function of electrical synapses in the retina
• Neural circuits that mediate responses to color, contrast and movement
• Roles of neuroglia in retinal development, homeostasis and light responses
• Contributions of neural circuits in the retina to visual perception
• Evolution of neuronal types and neural circuits in the retina
• Novel techniques for analyzing retinal neurons and neural circuits
• Non-invasive methods to analyze retinal structure and function
• Etiology of retinal diseases and potential new therapies
• Directions for future research on the vertebrate retina

Keywords: synapse, neuronal type, gene expression, neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, neural circuit, neuroglia, light response, visual perception, evolution, retinal diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This is a remarkable time to study the vertebrate retina, either as a model for the brain or to understand the first steps in vison. We have known about the diversity of retinal neurons and glia for more than one hundred years, and we are now extending these findings and making new discoveries about retinal cell types by analyzing gene expression in single cells. We have made significant progress toward our ultimate goals of describing the neural circuits in the retinas at the level of connections between identified populations of neurons and understanding neuronal and glial cell function at the molecular level. We have also made great strides toward understanding retinal development and the etiology of retinal diseases. Physiologists are now using more realistic stimuli and modern analytical methods to analyze the mechanisms underlying light responses of retinal neurons, and this has led to more accurate computational models of neural circuits in the retina.

My colleague at the McGovern Medical School in Houston, Steve Massey, has made many important contributions to this field, both as a researcher and as a mentor, and he is planning his retirement. Judith Ogilvie, Christophe Ribelayga, Chai-an Mao and I will dedicate this issue to him and plan to publish some of his latest work.

This Research Topic will include mini-reviews and brief communications about neurons and neural circuits in vertebrate retinas. The scope will be very broad, including anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and computational approaches to this topic.

Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:
• Development. morphology and synaptic connections of neuronal types
• Light responses, spontaneous activity and membrane properties of retinal neurons
• Gene expression and other aspects of cell biology of identified retinal neurons
• Release of neurotransmitters and modulators and their effects in the retina
• Structure and function of electrical synapses in the retina
• Neural circuits that mediate responses to color, contrast and movement
• Roles of neuroglia in retinal development, homeostasis and light responses
• Contributions of neural circuits in the retina to visual perception
• Evolution of neuronal types and neural circuits in the retina
• Novel techniques for analyzing retinal neurons and neural circuits
• Non-invasive methods to analyze retinal structure and function
• Etiology of retinal diseases and potential new therapies
• Directions for future research on the vertebrate retina

Keywords: synapse, neuronal type, gene expression, neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, neural circuit, neuroglia, light response, visual perception, evolution, retinal diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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