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J. Anthony Movshon; Animal models for visual neuroscience. Journal of Vision 2014;14(15):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.15.8.
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Visual neuroscience seeks to explain human vision and visually guided action. Animal models are an essential component of this explanation, because it is difficult to explore the underlying biology in humans. The most appropriate animal model for studies that seek links to human vision is the nonhuman primate, because of its behavioral sophistication and its closeness to man in visual system structure and function. Mice, flies, and a few other species offer technical advantages because of advances in genetics, but also have visual systems that are fundamentally different from humans'. Fortunately, more finely resolved molecular and optical approaches to studying the brain will become commonplace in nonhuman primates in the future. Visual neuroscientists will then be much less pressed to choose animals for study on the basis of the available toolkit for each species, and will instead be able to use models that better approximate human brain function and behavior.
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