We show that microsaccades (MS) enable efficient synchrony-based coding among the primate retinal ganglion cells (RGC). We find that each MS causes certain RGCs to fire synchronously, namely those whose receptive fields contain contrast edges after the MS. The emitted synchronous spike volley thus rapidly transmits the most salient edges of the stimulus. We demonstrate that the readout could be done rapidly by simple coincidence-detector neurons, and that the required connectivity could emerge spontaneously with spike timing-dependent plasticity.
Masquelier T, Portelli G, Kornprobst P (2016) Microsaccades enable efficient synchrony-based coding in the retina: a simulation study. Sci Rep 6:24086 [PubMed]