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Mouse hue and wavelength-specific luminance contrast sensitivity are non-uniform across visual space

By Daniel J Denman, Jennifer A. Luviano, Douglas R Ollerenshaw, Sissy Cross, Derric Williams, Michael A. Buice, Shawn R Olsen, R. Clay Reid

Posted 10 Aug 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/174631 (published DOI: 10.7554/elife.31209)

Mammalian visual behaviors, as well as responses in the neural systems thought to underlie these behaviors, are driven by luminance and hue contrast. With tools for measuring activity in cell-type specific populations in the mouse during visual behavior gaining traction, it is important to define the extent of luminance and hue information that is behaviorally-accessible to the mouse. A non-uniform distribution of cone opsins in the mouse potentially complicates both luminance and hue sensitivity: opposing gradients of short (UV-shifted) and middle (blue/green) cone opsins suggest that hue discrimination and wavelength-specific luminance contrast sensitivity may differ depending on retinotopic location. Here we ask if, and how well, mice can discriminate color and wavelength-specific luminance across visuotopic space. We found that mice were able to discriminate hue, and were able to do so more broadly across visuotopic space than expected from the cone-opsin distribution. We also found wavelength-band specific differences in luminance sensitivity.

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