Research maze puts images on floor, where rodents look
Visual acuity is sharpest for rats and mice when the animals are looking down. Researchers have found that rodents can learn tasks in a fourth to a sixth of the usual number of repetitions when visual stimuli are projected onto the floor of the maze rather than onto the walls. The maze in this study is part real and part virtual. There are actual walls -- often in the shape of a giant piece of farfalle -- but researchers can project any imagery they want onto the floor from below. The use of digital projections makes the maze versatile, but using the floor for projections makes it particularly well-designed for rodent subjects.
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