Oftentimes, human beings acquire knowledge of real-world items by using 2D visual stimuli, such as pictures seen in print media, television, or online. In such formats, the 2D stimuli act as symbols of the actual physical item.
The ability to perceive that a 2D image of an object corresponds to its 3D physical form or picture-to-object equivalence is a cognitive function assumed to be exclusive to higher-order primates and some birds. It has been suggested that this representational insight may be beyond the ability of rodents or poses significant challenges in experimental design.
A study by researchers atFlorida Atlantic University has demonstrated that laboratory mice are capable of developing high-level picture-to-object perceptions. This has confirmed that mice perceive the inherent difference between a picture of an object and the actual 3D object itself.
During a sample session, naive mice were permitted to view photographs (2D stimuli) of an object. The next day, the mice were presented with a novel 3D object and the actual 3D object was depicted in a 2D image.
According to first-of-its-kind evidence, mice were capable of performing a cognitive task of picture-to-object equivalence similar to those used to test visual recognition memory in children and non-human primates.
The mouse hippocampus (a primary structure of the brains'' medial temporal lobe memory system) has significant effect on picture-to-object equivalence, according to findings. Further, picture memory, provided for such higher-order inference, is dependent on neuronal activity in the CA1 region dorsal hippocampus.
According to our findings, mouse hippocampus is a functional form of nonspatial visual recognition, according to StackmanJr, a senior author, a PhD in neuroscience, and a member of the FAU Jupiter Life Science Initiative, FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute, and the FAU Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.
Even if low-level visual approaches were maintained, mice may subsequently discriminate between a familiar 3D physical object and a new 3D physical object. This picture-object equivalence capability erupted regardless of object symmetry, likeness, viewing angle, composition, and image realism. Even when low-level visual features, such as color and luminance, mice are still able to generalize from 2D picture to 3D object.
The hippocampus is thought to play an essential role in declarive or explicit memory, allowing an individual to see a story of a previously encoded experience in pictures. According to Sarah J. Cohen, the professor of science and technology at the University of New York, the picture exploration is likely to be encoded and consolidated as a story of that experience or event within a specific context as a form of explicit memory.
While this research is important, the recognition memory is well established for mice, and the findings suggest that rodents are capable of advanced visual recognition and may learn indirectly about actual objects by viewing photographs. The significance of the hippocampus may be to retrieve the memory of the picture explored during the sample session, against which the mouse may appropriately match to one of the items available during the test session.
Mice may make perceptual and conceptual judgments on presented task stimuli, which is surprising given that picture-object equivalence has been considered a defining capacity of primates, according to Stackman. Together, our findings provide evidence that the mouse might serve as an effective model organism to investigate higher-order sophisticated aspects of mammalian visual perception and recognition.