Vision is the process of extracting behaviorally-relevant information from patterns of light that fall on retina as the eyes sample the outside world. Traditionally, non-human primates have been viewed by many as the animal model-of-choice for investigating the neuronal substrates of visual processing, not only because their visual systems closely mirror our own (e.g., Orban, 2008; Nassi and Callaway, 2009 for a review), but also because it is often assumed that “simpler” brains lack advanced visual processing machinery. However, this narrow view of visual neuroscience ignores the fact that vision is widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom, enabling a wide repertoire of complex behaviors in species from insects to birds, fish, and mammals. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in alternative animal models for vision research, such as rodents (see Huberman and Niell, 2011; Zoccolan, 2015 for a review). This resurgence is partly due to the availability of increasingly powerful experimental approaches (e.g., optogenetics and two-photon imaging) that are challenging to apply to their full potential in primates. Meanwhile, even more phylogenetically distant species such as birds, fish, and insects have long been workhorse animal models for gaining insight into the core computations underlying visual processing (see Baier, 2000; Bilotta and Saszik, 2001; Borst et al., 2010; Aptekar and Frye, 2013 for a review ). In many cases, these animal models are valuable precisely because their visual systems are simpler than the primate visual system. Simpler systems are often easier to understand, and studying a diversity of neuronal systems that achieve similar functions can focus attention on those computational principles that are universal and essential. This Research Topic provides a survey of the state of the art in the use of non-primate models of visual functions. It includes original research, methods articles, reviews, and opinions that exploit a variety of animal models (including rodents, birds, fishes and insects) to investigate visual function. The experimental approaches covered by these studies range from psychophysics and electrophysiology to histology and genetics, testifying to the richness and depth of visual neuroscience in non-primate species. Below, we briefly summarize the contributions to this Research Topic.

Editorial: What can simple brains teach us about how vision works / Zoccolan, Davide; Cox, David D.; Benucci, Andrea. - In: FRONTIERS IN NEURAL CIRCUITS. - ISSN 1662-5110. - 9:(2015), pp. 1-5. [10.3389/fncir.2015.00051]

Editorial: What can simple brains teach us about how vision works

Zoccolan, Davide;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Vision is the process of extracting behaviorally-relevant information from patterns of light that fall on retina as the eyes sample the outside world. Traditionally, non-human primates have been viewed by many as the animal model-of-choice for investigating the neuronal substrates of visual processing, not only because their visual systems closely mirror our own (e.g., Orban, 2008; Nassi and Callaway, 2009 for a review), but also because it is often assumed that “simpler” brains lack advanced visual processing machinery. However, this narrow view of visual neuroscience ignores the fact that vision is widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom, enabling a wide repertoire of complex behaviors in species from insects to birds, fish, and mammals. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in alternative animal models for vision research, such as rodents (see Huberman and Niell, 2011; Zoccolan, 2015 for a review). This resurgence is partly due to the availability of increasingly powerful experimental approaches (e.g., optogenetics and two-photon imaging) that are challenging to apply to their full potential in primates. Meanwhile, even more phylogenetically distant species such as birds, fish, and insects have long been workhorse animal models for gaining insight into the core computations underlying visual processing (see Baier, 2000; Bilotta and Saszik, 2001; Borst et al., 2010; Aptekar and Frye, 2013 for a review ). In many cases, these animal models are valuable precisely because their visual systems are simpler than the primate visual system. Simpler systems are often easier to understand, and studying a diversity of neuronal systems that achieve similar functions can focus attention on those computational principles that are universal and essential. This Research Topic provides a survey of the state of the art in the use of non-primate models of visual functions. It includes original research, methods articles, reviews, and opinions that exploit a variety of animal models (including rodents, birds, fishes and insects) to investigate visual function. The experimental approaches covered by these studies range from psychophysics and electrophysiology to histology and genetics, testifying to the richness and depth of visual neuroscience in non-primate species. Below, we briefly summarize the contributions to this Research Topic.
2015
9
1
5
51
10.3389/fncir.2015.00051
Zoccolan, Davide; Cox, David D.; Benucci, Andrea
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Front Neural Circuits 2015 Zoccolan.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Editorial
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 167.49 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
167.49 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/48329
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 6
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact