Mouse Vision

In the monkey, it is very difficult to perform the type of detailed circuit dissection necessary to truly understand the neural instantiation of a computational circuit. In rodents, a large number of powerful techniques are available to perform detailed neural circuit dissection, but the capabilities of the mouse visual system (which, based on size, is more sophisticated than that of a fly and less than that of a primate) remain unclear. Specifically, do mice construct a surface representation of objects? In a series of seminal behavioral experiments in the 1990s, Ken Nakayama and colleagues established that the human visual system generates a surface representations. We are using a similar behavioral approach to investigate mouse visual perception, specifically to hunt for evidence of surface representation; in parallel, we are performing two-photon calcium imaging and electrophysiology experiments to dissect underlying circuits.