New paper on bird retina out on bioRxiv

We are excited to see our new work on avian retina up on bioRxiv!

Seifert M, Roberts PA, Kafetzis G, Osorio D, Baden T. Birds multiplex spectral and temporal visual information via retinal On- and Off- channels. bioRxiv 2022.

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 furhte 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 Marvin!

We are most delighted that Marvin Seifert has just passed his PhD viva!

For his thesis, which was done in collaboration with Daniel Osorio, Marvin looked at what the chicken eye tells the chicken brain. Combining MEA recordings with patterend spectral stimulation he worked out lots of exciting and new things in the way that birds process spectral information. Poster teaser below, watch this space for paperz!

Thank you to Almut Kelber and Miguel Maravall for serving as examiners!


Seifert M§, Baden T, Osorio D. The Retinal Basis of Vision in Chicken. Sem Cell Dev Biol. direct link. ( version).  pdf.

Congratulations Tessa and George!

Congratulations to Tessa Herzog and George Kafetzis for winning this year’s Talk and Posters awards, respectively, at the annual Sussex Life Sciences PhD symposium!

The awards recorgnise Tessa’s work on in vivo synaptic function of photoreceptors, and George’s ventures into trying to understand the retinal basis of vision in sharks!

For a flavour, see their recent conference posters below!

New BBSRC grant

We are excited that our BBSRC grant “Spectral Circuits for Figure-Ground Segregation in Motion Vision” has been funded