Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies say about 1.25 million neurons are in the retina -- each neuron viewing the world through a small jagged window called a receptive field. But those receptive fields fit seamlessly together to collectively form the eyesight picture we rely on to navigate our environment.
The scientists said their findings suggest apparent irregularities in individual cells might actually be coordinated and finely tuned to make the most of the world around us.
"The striking coordination we found when we examined a whole population indicated that neuronal circuits in the retina may sample the visual scene with high precision, perhaps in a manner that approaches the optimum for high-resolution vision," said Associate Professor E.J. Chichilnisky, senior author of the study.
The research is reported in the journal PLoS Biology.
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