Field Lab


University of Puget Sound, B.S., Physics

University of Washington, Ph.D., Physiology and Biophysics

Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies


My laboratory studies how the retina processes visual scenes and transmits this information to the brain.  We use multi-electrode arrays to record the activity of hundreds of retina neurons simultaneously in conjunction with transgenic mouse lines and chemogenetics to manipulate neural circuit function. We are interested in three major areas. First, we work to understand how neurons in the retina are functionally connected. Second we are studying how light-adaptation and circadian rhythms alter visual processing in the retina. Finally, we are working to understand the mechanisms of retinal degenerative conditions and we are investigating potential treatments in animal models.

Field Lab Research

The Field Lab studies how the retina encodes visual scenes and transmits this information to the brain.  Research questions that we are activity pursuing in the lab include:

  • How does the retina adapt its encoding to accommodate changes in light level between night and day? 
  • How do the 75 different types of neurons in the retina work together to encode visual scenes?
  • How do different sources of synaptic inhibition in the retina tune signal processing?
  • What properties are common and different among retinas of different mammalian species?
  • What are the evolutionary origins of primate vision?
  • How is retinal function altered in retinal degenerative diseases?
  • How can we cure retinal diseases and restore the normal function of the retina?

We use a wide variety of approaches to tackle these questions.

  • Large-scale multi-electrode array recordings from retinal ganglion cells.
  • Two-photon calcium imaging of neural activity in the retina.
  • Chemogenetic manipulation of neural activity.
  • Advanced analysis tools from computational and theoretical neuroscience.
  • Transgenic mouse lines and cell-type specific viral delivery of genes to retinal neurons.
  • Patch-clamp recordings of neural activity.

Our lab collaborations broadly with other labs at Duke and around the country to further our understanding of retinal function and the neural mechanisms that give rise to vision.

  • We collaborate with the lab of Dr. Jeremy Kay at Duke to understand how the genetic programs that dictate the wiring of retinal neurons during development shape retinal function.
  • We collaborate with the theorist Dr. Henry Greenside in the Physics Department at Duke to uncover the theoretical underpinnings by which the retina encodes visual scenes.
  • We collaborate with Dr. Jeanie Chen (USC) and Dr. A.P. Sampath (UCLA) to uncover the capacity of the retina to recover from degeneration.
  • We collaborate with Dr. Nicholas Brecha and Dr. Steven Barnes at UCLA to understand how retinal interneurons shape the processing of visual input.

Field Lab Member Research

RF imageEach image shows a high resolution measurement of the receptive field of a retinal ganglion cell. Each of these ganglion cells encodes a different aspect of the visual scene and transmits that information to a different location in the brain.





Mouse retinaImage of a piece of mouse retina on an electrode array with 512 electrodes. The hexagonal grid of black dots is the electrode array. The retina was from a genetically modified mouse with some ganglion cells expressing a green fluorescent reporter.




tree shrew retinaLabeled network of retinal horizontal cell from a tree shrew retina.  In addition to having a remarkable visual system, tree shrews are an important species for understanding the early evolution of primate vision.

Field Publications

Jun, Na Young, Greg D. Field, and John Pearson. “Scene statistics and noise determine the relative arrangement of receptive field mosaics.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118, no. 39 (September 28, 2021).

Wang, Depeng, Suva Roy, Andra M. Rudzite, Greg D. Field, and Yiyang Gong. “High-resolution light-field microscopy with patterned illumination.” Biomed Opt Express 12, no. 7 (July 1, 2021): 3887–3901.

Scalabrino, Miranda L., Mishek Thapa, Emily Davis, A. P. Sampath, Jeannie Chen, and Greg D. Field. “Time-Dependent Changes in ON Bipolar Cell Transcriptomes before and after Genetic Rescue from Rod Degeneration.” In Molecular Therapy, 29:266–266, 2021.

Roy, Suva, Na Young Jun, Emily L. Davis, John Pearson, and Greg D. Field. “Inter-mosaic coordination of retinal receptive fields.” Nature 592, no. 7854 (April 2021): 409–13.

Hays, Cassandra L., Asia L. Sladek, Greg D. Field, and Wallace B. Thoreson. “Properties of multivesicular release from mouse rod photoreceptors support transmission of single-photon responses.” Elife 10 (March 26, 2021).

Jun, Na Young, Greg Field, and John Pearson. “The optimal spatial arrangement of ON and OFF receptive fields,” March 11, 2021.

Hays, C. L., A. L. Sladek, G. D. Field, and W. B. Thoreson. “Properties of multi-vesicular release from rod photoreceptors support transmission of single photon responses,” February 2, 2021.

Ruda, Kiersten, Joel Zylberberg, and Greg D. Field. “Ignoring correlated activity causes a failure of retinal population codes.” Nat Commun 11, no. 1 (September 14, 2020): 4605.

Cafaro, Jon, Joel Zylberberg, and Greg D. Field. “Global Motion Processing by Populations of Direction-Selective Retinal Ganglion Cells.” J Neurosci 40, no. 30 (July 22, 2020): 5807–19.

Ruda, Kiersten, Joel Zylberberg, and Greg Field. “Ignoring correlated activity causes a failure of retinal population codes under moonlight conditions,” December 19, 2019.

Field Lab Members

Field Lab

Research Technician II
Senior Research Scientist
Research Associate Senior, Field Lab
Undergraduate Researcher


Research Tech II
Senior Research Associate
Undergraduate Student
Field Lab Alumnus
Postdoc in Mark Andermann's lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard University
Research Technician
Research Technician II
Undergraduate Researcher