Working Paper Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Retinal Basis of Vision in Chicken

Version 1 : Received: 10 March 2020 / Approved: 11 March 2020 / Online: 11 March 2020 (16:00:46 CET)

How to cite: Seifert, M.; Baden, T.; Osorio, D. The Retinal Basis of Vision in Chicken. Preprints 2020, 2020030188 Seifert, M.; Baden, T.; Osorio, D. The Retinal Basis of Vision in Chicken. Preprints 2020, 2020030188


The Avian retina is far less known than that of mammals such as mouse and macaque, and detailed study is overdue. The chicken (Gallus gallus) has potential as a model, in part because research can build on developmental studies of the eye and nervous system. One can expect differences between bird and mammal retinas simply because whereas most mammals have three types of visual photoreceptor birds normally have six. Spectral pathways and colour vision are of particular interest, because filtering by oil droplets narrows cone spectral sensitivities and birds are probably tetrachromatic. The number of receptor inputs is reflected in the retinal circuitry. The chicken probably has four types of horizontal cell, there are at least 11 types of bipolar cell, often with bi- or tri-stratified axon terminals, and there is a high density of ganglion cells, which make complex connections in the inner plexiform layer. In addition, there is likely to be retinal specialisation, for example chicken photoreceptors and ganglion cells have separate peaks of cell density in the central and dorsal retina, which probably serve different types of behaviour.


Retina; Bird vision; Colour vision


Biology and Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Zoology

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