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Mouse and human vision more similar than previously thought

Scientists have described an area of enhanced visual sensitivity within the visual cortex of mice – termed the ‘focea’

Pixabay/ Alexas_Fotos

Scientists have described an area of enhanced visual sensitivity within the visual cortex of mice, supporting the idea that mouse vision is more similar to human vision than previously thought.

The findings, which were published in Nature Communications, described a region termed the ‘focea’ which provides improved visual resolution.

Scientists from the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience highlighted that freely moving mice make compensatory eye movements to hold this area in front of them.

“A picture of the mouse cortical visual system is emerging that mirrors many of the organisational principles in primates, albeit at a coarser scale,” the authors highlighted.

Lead researcher, Dr Matthew Self, of the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, highlighted that the findings have important implications for the use of mice as a model of human vision.

"The fact that mice have a focea opens up the possibility of understanding the neural circuits underlying high-detail vision and studying the neural basis of attention and eye-movements in this species," he said.