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Vision Res. 2000;40(16):2201-9.

Behavioral assessment of visual acuity in mice and rats.

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Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, The University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, AB, TIK 3M4, Lethbridge, Canada.


We have developed a simple computer-based discrimination task that enables the quick determination of visual acuities in rodents. A grating is displayed randomly on one of two monitors at the wide end of a trapezoidal-shaped tank containing shallow water. Animals are trained to swim toward the screens, and at a fixed distance, choose the screen displaying the grating and escape to a submerged platform hidden below it. Both mice and rats learn the task quickly. Performance falls below 70% when the spatial frequency is increased beyond 0.5 cycles in most C57BU6 mice, and around 1.0 cycles per degree (cpd) in Long-Evans rats.

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