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We have investigated the ontogeny of light-driven responses in mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Using a large-scale, high-density multielectrode array, we recorded from hundreds to thousands of RGCs simultaneously at pan-retinal level, including dorsal and ventral locations. Responses to different contrasts not only revealed a complex developmental profile for ON, OFF and ON-OFF responses, but also unveiled differences between dorsal and ventral RGC responses. At eye-opening, dorsal RGCs of all types were more responsive to light, perhaps indicating an environmental priority to nest viewing for pre-weaning pups. The developmental profile of ON and OFF responses exhibited antagonistic behaviour, with the strongest ON responses shortly after eye-opening, followed by an increase in the strength of OFF responses later on. Further, we found that with maturation receptive field (RF) center sizes decrease, spike-triggered averaged responses to white noise become stronger, and centers become more circular while maintaining differences between RGC types. We conclude that the maturation of retinal functionality is not spatially homogeneous, likely reflecting ecological requirements that favour earlier maturation of the dorsal retina.
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