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Vision Res. 2005 May;45(11):1439-46.

The optomotor response: a robust first-line visual screening method for mice.

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Institut Clinique de la souris, Genopole de Strasbourg B.P. 10 142, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, France.


In both scotopic and photopic conditions, the rotation of a grating was found to elicit head movements in mice. The highest spatial frequency eliciting this optomotor response provided an estimate of visual acuity. In male C57BL/6J mice, visual acuity increased from 0.26cpd in scotopic conditions to 0.52cpd in photopic conditions whereas it was 0.52 cpd in both sets of conditions in 129/SvPas mice. No optomotor response was detected in albino CD1 mice and rd1 retinal degeneration mice although light sensitivity in CD1 mice was attested by photophobia and normal electroretinograms. This rapid and cheap method could provide a powerful test of visual performance in genetically modified and pharmacologically treated mice.

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