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Merigan Lab

William Merigan, PhD

  • Professor - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD) - Primary Appointment
  • Professor - Center for Visual Science (RC)
  • PhD | Psychology, All Other | Univ of Maryland (1975)

Research Overview

Dr. Merigan's research examines the role of retinal ganglion cells in visual perception in the primate (human and macaque). The primate retina contains at least 14 different types of retinal ganglion cells, and each type forms a complete network across the retina. Because the size, shape andprojections of each of the cell types is distinctive, it is thought that they may play quite different and possibly independent roles invisual function,but at present relatively little is known about this question. Some clues about possible functions of different ganglion cell classes comes from their structure (some extend across large swaths of retina, while others get input from tiny regions of retina), their physiology (some ganglion cells respond to color, while others are color blind), and their projections into the brain (some ganglion cells project to visual cortex while others reach the superchiasmatic nucleus, which is thought to be important in diurnal rhythms).

Dr. Merigan is a Principal Investigator on the advanced retinal imaging alliance team. aria is a multidisciplinary lab comprised of researchers from the Flaum Eye Institute, the Center for Visual Science and The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. 

Selected Publications