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VR Goggles for Mice Create Immersive Scenarios for Brain Research


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A mouse wearing VR goggles.

The researchers said the new approach not only allows mice to see the virtual environment in three dimensions and eliminates visual clues of the lab, but offers a way to present virtual images from above.

Credit: Daniel Dombeck et al.

Northwestern University researchers developed virtual reality (VR) goggles for mice that can simulate natural environments, allowing for a more accurate study of the neural circuitry that underlies rodent behavior in the wild.

A pair of lenses and screens are mounted on stands either side of a mouse’s head, providing each eye with a 180-degree field of view.

The mouse’s head is fixed in place, and it navigates a virtual environment using a treadmill.

The researchers say their approach not only allows mice to see the virtual environment in three dimensions and eliminates visual clues of the lab, but also offers a way to present virtual images from above, for example, of birds of prey.

The activity of navigation neurons in test-subject mice's brains suggested they were in a different location from where they actually were during experiments.

From The Guardian (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


 

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