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In the eye of the observer: Visual processing at the heart of the retina

Objective

All visual information is broadcasted by an intra-retinal pathway formed by a group of neurons called bipolar cells. They collect photoreceptor signals in the outer retina and relay the signals to the inner retinal neurons. This transfer of visual information is far from passive: Each of the at least 10 bipolar cell types transforms the photoreceptor signals in a unique and highly specific way. As a result, the bipolar cell output signals form the first “elementary operations” from which the neural circuits of the inner retina compose a feature-oriented description of the visual world. Reflecting the partitioning of visual information into parallel channels, the retinal layer in which bipolar cell axon terminals meet their synaptic partners, is highly organized: This so-called “inner plexiform layer” effectively serves as the retina’s “switch board”: The input is provided by the different bipolar cell “channels”, while the output is carried by an even larger number of channels, represented by ganglion cells that form the optic nerve. Each of the ~20 ganglion cell types composes its feature-extracting circuits from a specific set of bipolar cell input it receives. Owing to its regular structure and ease of experimental access, the retina is amongst the best understood self-standing neuronal networks in neuroscience. Indeed, recent advances hold the exciting promise that an in-depth understanding of the bipolar cells – an entire class of neurons – and their role in the first critical steps of visual processing is within reach. Our proposal aims to train young researchers in world-leading research labs towards completing this goal. We will accomplish this by exposing the students to a host of cutting-edge techniques and a broad spectrum of research approaches within the training network – from imaging at synaptic resolution, transgenetics and retina degeneration models to the application of retinal circuit principles for signal processing in artificial vision chips.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/signal processing
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data processing
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/ophthalmology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology/computational neuroscience

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-ITN-ETN - European Training Networks

Coordinator

EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN
Address
Geschwister-scholl-platz
72074 Tuebingen
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 498 432,90

Participants (10)

CARL VON OSSIETZKY UNIVERSITAET OLDENBURG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 249 216,48
Address
Ammerlaender Heerstrasse 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN
Norway
EU contribution
€ 286 275,24
Address
Museplassen 1
5020 Bergen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 522 504,42
Address
Sussex House Falmer
BN1 9RH Brighton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 510 748,56
Address
Kloveniersburgwal 29 Het Trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Activity type
Other
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
Austria
EU contribution
€ 255 934,08
Address
Karlsplatz 13
1040 Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET INNSBRUCK
Austria
EU contribution
€ 511 868,16
Address
Innrain 52
6020 Innsbruck
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 258 061,32
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
MULTI CHANNEL SYSTEMS MCS GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 249 216,48
Address
Aspenhaustrasse 21
72770 Reutlingen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EKB TECHNOLOGIES LTD
Israel
EU contribution
€ 253 069,95
Address
2/2 Hadadi St.
5951301 Bat Yam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
INILABS AG
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 265 226,76
Address
Laternengasse 4
8001 Zurich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

Partners (4)

NATURWISSENSCHAFTLICHES UND MEDIZINISCHES INSTITUT AN DER UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN
Germany
Address
Markwiesenstrasse 55
72770 Reutlingen
Activity type
Research Organisations
European Vision Institute
Belgium
Address

Ixelles
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Vilvite-The Bergen Science Center
Norway
Address

Bergen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Grasshopper Films GmbH
Germany
Address

Tübingen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)