Letter | Published:

Receptive Fields of the Visual System of the Squid

Abstract

IN an octopus some second order visual cells that receive synapses in the plexiform layer from the optic nerve fibres have dendritic fields with an oval orientation lying in the horizontal plane1. It has now been shown that in a squid there are cells with several distinct types of receptive field, which are suitable to act as detectors of visual contours of differing size, shape and orientation. The largest have oval dendritic fields, several millimetres long, predominantly orientated along the vertical (dorso-ventral) axis of the optic lobe (Figs. 1 and 2). Each makes contact with the endings of many thousands of optic nerve fibres and therefore they are probably activated only by very large visual contours. Their large axons reach deep into the optic lobe, from which the axons of third order cells reach direct to the first order giant cells. This may therefore be the pathway for escape reactions from large objects, perhaps also for schooling responses to other squids. The cell bodies of these second order visual neurones lie at the base of the inner granule cell layer and their trunks bend over in the second tangential layer of the plexiform zone to make recurrent axons (Figs. 1 and 3).

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Young, J. Z., The Anatomy of the Nervous System of Octopus vulgaris (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1971).

  2. 2

    Maturana, H. R., Lettvin, J. Y., McCulloch, W. S., and Pitts, W. H., J. Gen. Physiol., 43 Suppl. 2, 129 (1960).

  3. 3

    Hubel, D. H., and Wiesel, T. N., J. Physiol., 195, 215 (1968).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.