Mapping the functional topography of vision in the zebrafish

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Andrew S Lowe

    King's College London

Project summary

Topographic organisation wherein neighbours in one space are neighbours in another space is a fundamental organisational feature of sensory processing. In the visual system, topography has been studied using non-specific techniques that average across cell types. These approaches cannot reveal unique biases in visual processing associated with individual cell types.

To understand biological vision we need to know how every type of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) in every part of the retina is mapped onto central targets. We will use a systems-based approach for revealing topographic maps for distinct functional types of RGCs innervating the optic tectum of the zebrafish. We aim to: derive topographic maps across the whole of visual space, for three distinct types of RGC inputs to the optic tectum and chart their developmental dynamics; provide an experimental, neuroimaging and informatics framework with which to map topography across all retino-recipient brain regions; and augment future studies designed to reveal and map all functional types of RGCs.

This work will introduce a conceptual advance in how visual processing can be studied.