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Cell Rep. 2017 Sep 5;20(10):2513-2524. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.047.

High-Yield Methods for Accurate Two-Alternative Visual Psychophysics in Head-Fixed Mice.

Author information

1
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
2
UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
3
UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK; Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology (CoMPLEX), University College London, London, UK.
4
UCL Ear Institute, University College London, London WC1X 8EE, UK.
5
Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal.
6
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Electronic address: m.carandini@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Research in neuroscience increasingly relies on the mouse, a mammalian species that affords unparalleled genetic tractability and brain atlases. Here, we introduce high-yield methods for probing mouse visual decisions. Mice are head-fixed, facilitating repeatable visual stimulation, eye tracking, and brain access. They turn a steering wheel to make two alternative choices, forced or unforced. Learning is rapid thanks to intuitive coupling of stimuli to wheel position. The mouse decisions deliver high-quality psychometric curves for detection and discrimination and conform to the predictions of a simple probabilistic observer model. The task is readily paired with two-photon imaging of cortical activity. Optogenetic inactivation reveals that the task requires mice to use their visual cortex. Mice are motivated to perform the task by fluid reward or optogenetic stimulation of dopamine neurons. This stimulation elicits a larger number of trials and faster learning. These methods provide a platform to accurately probe mouse vision and its neural basis.

PMID:
28877482
PMCID:
PMC5603732
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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