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Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Understand the organization of the different layers of the retina.
  2. Identify these layers in histological sections.

Browse atlas

The retina constitutes the inner layer (internal tunic) of the eyeball. Its function is to convert visual stimuli from the outside environment into neural impulses that are transmitted to the cerebral cortex via the optic nerve for interpretation and analysis.

The retina is composed of epithelial, glial, and neural cells that are organized into 10 distinctive layers. Out of these, the first 9 layers belong to the inner neurosensory retina, one of which are the photoreceptors that are sensitive to light. The 10th layer constitutes the outer retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), which serves to absorb light that passes through the retina and prevent it from reflecting back to the neurosensory layer. 

Examine each layer in the following image gallery:

Now that you have reviewed these illustrations, you can move on to a more advanced stage with the following histological sections of the retina.

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