Media Type : Textbook
Synopsis : The retina is a sophisticated extension of the central nervous system, which is uniquely structured to serve the distinct visual needs of various animals. John Dowling’s revised edition of the classic text originally published in 1987, which has been a longstanding respected reference, now incorporates 25 more years of information on vertebrate retinal physiology, structure, and function. New chapters on color vision, retinal degenerations and electrophysiology have expanded the information covered in this introductory, but comprehensive textbook on the retina. This book continues to serve as an excellent reference for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and others interested in vision science.
Target Audience : Graduate students or post-graduates in visual science
Review : John E. Dowling’s original edition of The Retina published in 1987 has stood as a classic reference text for graduate students, and others interested in vision research. The revised edition is clearly-written and well-illustrated, as was the original textbook. The chapter on Wiring of the Retina, in particular, has multiple beautiful diagrams, electron micrographs, and color plates illustrating the organization and interrelationships of cells within the retina. This book provides extensive detail regarding retinal cellular organization, cellular interactions and provides comparative information between species. Chapters on synaptic and photoreceptor mechanisms contain a wealth of details, which are well-organized with ample sub-headings and a plethora of diagrams and tracings to illustrate the technical information discussed. New sections in this edition include color vision and retinal degenerations, electroretinography, and genetics, which provide equally detailed introductory data on these subjects.
This textbook, as the prior edition, serves as an excellent introductory source due to its breadth and degree of detail, which is a well-organized, clearly-written and amply-illustrated. The information in this book is derived from Dr Dowling’s established career in retinal research, as well as data from other experts in their respective fields. With over 900 cited references, this book serves as an excellent starting point for those interested in reading in greater detail on the topics covered in this textbook.
The limitations of this text are primarily the narrower audience to which it may appeal. Clinicians and ophthalmology residents, without interest in retinal research, may be hesitant to pick up this book due to the rather dense and specialized information it contains. However, the new chapters on Color Vision and Retinal Degenerations have more direct clinical relevance and are very readable providing an important foundation for our understanding of retinal disease.