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MacRetina

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MacRetina simulates data from retinal ganglion cells in the eye to the brain.

By sampling neural activity while stimulating the retina with small spots of light, students can see the dynamic excitatory and inhibitory responses of these neurons in the simulation, and map the organization of the retinal region that drives the cell's receptive field.

MacRetina is modeled accurately on published data and is a realistic simulation of a lab experiment that would otherwise be beyond the reach of the typical undergraduate laboratory.

The program models 10 retinal ganglion cells with overlapping receptive fields. A cell may be an on-center type cell or an off-center type cell and may have either sustained or transient response dynamics.

In the figure the gray region represents a tiny area of retina, 0.5 x 1.0 mm in size. The user maps the excitatory region of the cell by sweeping the cursor, which represents either a light or a dark stimulus projected onto the eye of a cat, across the retinal area.