W. Rowland. Taylor, PhD





Primary Affiliation

SOM-Ophthalmology Department

Program Affiliation

Neuroscience Graduate Program

The goal of the Taylor lab is to understand how circuit structure and synaptic function combine to perform useful neural computations. To this end we employ the mammalian retina, which can be isolated intact, maintained for hours in vitro and stimulated naturally with images generated on a computer display. The animal models we use are the rabbit, mouse and primate (macaque). Primate retinas are recovered via the tissue distribution program at the Oregaon National Primate Research Center. We use electrophysiological and immunohistochemical techniques to analyze specific cell classes, and to localize and identify transmitter receptors and other proteins within target neural pathways. In collaboration with Prof Rob Smith at U Penn, we construct computation models of the neural circuits, and use these, in combination with physiological results, to test hypotheses regarding circuit function.

Recent publications:

Puthussery, T., Venkataramani, S., Gayet-Primo, J., Smith, R. G., & Taylor, W. R. (2013). NaV1.1 Channels in Axon Initial Segments of Bipolar Cells Augment Input to Magnocellular Visual Pathways in the Primate Retina. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(41), 16045–16059.

Buldyrev, I., & Taylor, W. R. (2013). Inhibitory mechanisms that generate centre and surround properties in ON and OFF brisk-sustained ganglion cells in the rabbit retina. J Physiol, 591(Pt 1), 303–25.

Vaney, D. I., Sivyer, B., & Taylor, W. R. (2012). Direction selectivity in the retina: symmetry and asymmetry in structure and function. Nat Rev Neurosci. 13:194-208.

Buldyrev, I., Puthussery, T., & Taylor, W. R. (2012). Synaptic pathways that shape the excitatory drive in an OFF retinal ganglion cell. J Neurophysiol, 107(7), 1795–807.

Taylor, W. R., & Smith, R. G. (2012). The role of starburst amacrine cells in visual signal processing. Vis Neurosci, 29(1), 73–81.

Puthussery, T., Gayet-Primo, J., Taylor, W. R., & Haverkamp, S. (2011). Immunohistochemical identification and synaptic inputs to the diffuse bipolar cell type DB1 in macaque retina. J Comp Neurol, 519(18), 3640–3656.

Venkataramani, S., & Taylor, W. R. (2010). Orientation selectivity in rabbit retinal ganglion cells is mediated by presynaptic inhibition. J Neurosci, 30(46), 15664–76.

Preceptor Rotations

Academic Term Available
Winter 2014 Yes
Spring 2014 Yes

Faculty Mentorship

Dr. Taylor is available as a mentor for 2013-2014.

Dr. Taylor is available as a mentor for 2014-2015.