Electron Microscope Image Through the Whole Retina

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Eyewire is so named because we are mapping neurons of the retina. The image above shows a labeled cross-section through the whole retina, from photoreceptors to ganglion cells. It may be surprising to see just how tall the photoreceptors are — the largest being at least twice as tall as the tallest ganglion cell. The image above was generated by Seung Lab’s Sebastian Stroeh using an electron microscope. The image below from Zeiss highlights different retinal cells.

“The many layers of nerve cells in the retina. The top layer (green) is made up of cells called photoreceptors that convert light into electrical signals to relay to the brain. The two best-known types of photoreceptor cells are rod- and cone-shaped. Rods help us see under low-light conditions but can’t help us distinguish colors. Cones don’t function well in the dark but allow us to see vibrant colors in daylight. Image courtesy of Wei Li, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. Part of the exhibit Life:Magnified by ASCB and NIGMS.”

The current Eyewire dataset focuses on the Inner Plexiform Layer. We reconstructed the ganglion cells during the Countdown to Neuropia (2014-25) and are currently reconstructing the cells of the Inner Nuclear Layer in The Dig. You can check out all the cells mapped in Eyewire at museum.eyewire.org.


e2198, eyewire, retina, neuroscience, connectomics
The Eyewire Dataset, e2198