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RetinalRepurposing SIGNED

Deciphering the computations underlying visual processing: Repurposing of retinal cells and how they are decoded by the visual thalamus

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 RetinalRepurposing project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the RetinalRepurposing project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "RetinalRepurposing" about.

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Project "RetinalRepurposing" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: HERZL STREET 234
postcode: 7610001

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 1˙494˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙494˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE IL (REHOVOT) coordinator 1˙494˙000.00


 Project objective

Visual processing begins in the retina, with ~30 types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), each encodes a specific visual modality, such as edges or motion. A major challenge for deciphering the visual code is mapping the connections between each RGC and its target neurons, such as in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and, via the LGN, the visual cortex. Recently, this challenge became even greater, as we and others revealed that the modality encoded by RGCs—traditionally considered a fixed hardwired property of each RGC type—can be altered. Direction selective RGCs reorient their directional tuning following visual adaptation, and other RGCs change their polarity preference (On/Off) as light level changes. These newly discovered dramatic changes in the core computations of RGCs depart from the known retinal adaptation which results in gain adjustments but no modality changes. We term them repurposing. The discovery of repurposing contrasts the widely-held notion that the retina provides a stable representation of the visual scene for downstream processing. This newly exposed level of complexity in the retinal code raises a critical question for our understanding of vision: How do retinal targets interpret the dynamic retinal code and how, despite such dynamics, a consistent representation of the visual scene emerges? We will use state-of-the-art electrophysiology and imaging techniques, and pioneer an approach for simultaneous retinal imaging and LGN recordings, to reveal how the mouse early visual system processes the changing visual information. We will elucidate the subtypes of repurposed RGCs, triggers for repurposing and their mechanisms. We will resolve, for the first time, the precise functional connectivity between subtypes of RGCs and LGN neurons, and determine how the LGN decodes retinal repurposing. Our groundbreaking research will pave the path for understanding how visual processing in a constantly changing world gives rise to a consistent perception.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Rebekah A. Warwick, Nathali Kaushansky, Nimrod Sarid, Amir Golan, Michal Rivlin-Etzion
Inhomogeneous Encoding of the Visual Field in the Mouse Retina
published pages: 655-665.e3, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.016
Current Biology 28/5 2019-06-06
2018 Michal Rivlin-Etzion, William N. Grimes, Fred Rieke
Flexible Neural Hardware Supports Dynamic Computations in Retina
published pages: 224-237, ISSN: 0166-2236, DOI: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.01.009
Trends in Neurosciences 41/4 2019-06-06

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