How does a mouse use its eyes to accurately target and catch a fleeing cricket? Researchers at our institute, the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, developed a new method to reconstruct the ‘view through the eyes’ of an animal as it detects and tracks its prey. They recorded eye and head movements of freely moving mice hunting crickets whilst the position of both the mice and prey were being measured in the arena. A new environment digitization approach, combined with mathematical analysis, recreated what the mouse would see during its hunt. This enabled the “view through the eyes” to be correlated with a distinct behavior. Unlike humans, mice cannot voluntarily move their eye position. With this approach the researchers showed that they adjust their behavior to keep the prey’s image on a small, specialized area of the retina. Their results will allow scientists to start to understand how animals use their vision to make decisions in the natural world and how the brain circuitry translates this into perception.
With our explanatory video for the underlying publication (https://elifesciences.org/articles/70838) we would like to participate in the Fast Forward Science 2021/22 competition (www.fastforwardscience.de).
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DisziplinNaturwissenschaften / Natural Sciences
AwardSCIENTIST & RESEARCH INSTITUTION AWARD
Julia SchleeMax-Planck-Institut für Neurobiologie des Verhaltens – caesar