New BBSRC grant on avian vision

We are excited that our BBSRC grant on the functional organisation of the avian retina has been funded! Watch this space!


Best talk award at NeNa Conference

Congratulations to George Kafetzis for winning this year’s best talk award at NeNa conference

The award recorgnises George’s ventures into trying to understand the retinal basis of vision in sharks!

For a little flavour, see a recent conference poster of his below

Paper on Bird Retina out @Nature Comms

We are excited to see our new work on avian retina out in Nature Communications.

Seifert M§, Roberts PA, Kafetzis G, Osorio D§, Baden T§. Birds multiplex spectral and temporal visual information via retinal On- and Off-channels. Nature Communications. 14, 5308 (2023). direct link. (bioRxiv version). pdf.

We find that birds use a fundamentally different strategy compared to mammals to communicate from the eye to the brain

Rather than neatly segregating information into neat and functionally opposite streams (On and Off, fast and sloww, greyscale and colour), most bird RGCs bunch the whole lot into single axons to “multiplex” the information.

This is energy expensive when considering spikes (mammals are great at saving energy here), but it is bandwidth efficient when considering limits on the optic nerve

We furhter posit that the bird strategy is the “original” one, shared with fish, reptiles and amphibians. The mammal strategy is probably derived, enabled by a radical simplification and reorganisation of circuits following the loss of 2 of the 4 original cones during the age of the dinosaurs


Congratulations Dr. Tessa!

We are most delighted that Dr Tessa Herzog has just passed her viva! 

For her PhD, which was done in collaboration with Leon Lagnado, Tessa looked at how cone-photoreceptors in the live zebrafish eye encode visual stimuli at the level of glutamate release. Poster teaser below – watch this space for papers! 

Thank you also to Rob Hindges and Sylvia Schroeder for serving as examiners!