Understanding the neural basis of visual perception is a long-standing fundamental goal of neuroscience. Historically, most vision studies were carried out on humans, macaques and cats. Over the past 5 years, however, a growing number of researchers have begun using mice to parse the mechanisms underlying visual processing; the rationale is that, despite having relatively poor acuity, mice are unmatched in terms of the variety and sophistication of tools available to label, monitor and manipulate specific cell types and circuits. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the mouse visual system at the anatomical, receptive field and perceptual level, focusing on the opportunities and constraints those features provide toward the goal of understanding how vision works.
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