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Vision Res. 2016 Oct;127:74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2016.07.006. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

A touchscreen based global motion perception task for mice.

Stirman J#1,2, Townsend LB#3, Smith S1,2,3,4.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
2
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
3
Neurobiology Curriculum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
4
Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Global motion perception is a function of higher, or extrastriate, visual system circuitry. These circuits can be engaged in visually driven navigation, a behavior at which mice are adept. However, the properties of global motion perception in mice are unclear. Therefore, we developed a touchscreen-based, two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) task to explore global motion detection in mice using random dot kinematograms (RDK). Performance data was used to compute coherence thresholds for global motion perception. The touchscreen-based task allowed for parallel training and testing with multiple chambers and minimal experimenter intervention with mice performing hundreds of trials per session. Parameters of the random dot kinematograms, including dot size, lifetime, and speed, were tested. Mice learned to discriminate kinematograms whose median motion direction differed by 90 degrees in 7-24days after a 10-14day pre-training period. The average coherence threshold (measured at 70% correct) in mice for this task was 22±5%, with a dot diameter of 3.88mm and speed of 58.2mm/s. Our results confirm the ability of mice to perform global motion discriminations, and the touchscreen assay provides a flexible, automated, and relatively high throughput method with which to probe complex visual function in mice.

KEYWORDS:

Global motion processing; Higher visual areas; Psychophysics; Random dot kinematograms; Touchscreen chamber

PMID:
27497283
PMCID:
PMC5035629
DOI:
10.1016/j.visres.2016.07.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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