Ex Vivo and Whole-Mount Retinal Preparations
Despite its relatively small size, the brain is an enormously complex organ that poses many challenges to those trying to understand its organization, function, and dysfunction. Fortunately, however, the brain comprises a number of more simple and well-deﬁned systems, and many of these have proved to be good models for studying complex brain mechanisms. The visual system is one area of the brain that has received considerable attention over the years, in part because its functional integrity can be assessed easily using light stimulation, but also because it is naturally divided between the eye and the rest of the brain. In addition, several primary components of the central visual pathway, including the eye, optic nerve, and visual cortex, are readily accessible for experimental manipulation and/or therapeutic intervention.