1. Neuroscience
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An arbitrary-spectrum spatial visual stimulator for vision research

  1. Katrin Franke
  2. André Maia Chagas
  3. Zhijian Zhao
  4. Maxime JY Zimmermann
  5. Philipp Bartel
  6. Yongrong Qiu
  7. Klaudia P Szatko
  8. Tom Baden
  9. Thomas Euler  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Tübingen, Germany
  2. University of Sussex, United Kingdom
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e48779 doi: 10.7554/eLife.48779

Abstract

Visual neuroscientists require accurate control of visual stimulation. However, few stimulator solutions simultaneously offer high spatio-temporal resolution and free control over the spectra of the light sources, because they rely on off-the-shelf technology developed for human trichromatic vision. Importantly, consumer displays fail to drive UV-shifted short wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors, which strongly contribute to visual behaviour in many animals, including mice, zebrafish and fruit flies. Moreover, many non-mammalian species feature more than three spectral photoreceptor types. Here, we present a flexible, spatial visual stimulator with up to 6 arbitrary spectrum chromatic channels. It combines a standard digital light processing engine with open source hard- and software that can be easily adapted to the experimentalist's needs. We demonstrate the capability of this general visual stimulator experimentally in the in vitro mouse retinal whole-mount and the in vivo zebrafish. With this work, we intend to start a community effort of sharing and developing a common stimulator design for vision research.

Data availability

Part lists are provided in Tables 1-3 and Suppl. Table S1. Software scripts for stimulus calibration as well as design files for circuit boards and 3D-printed parts are provided at https://github.com/eulerlab/open-visual-stimulator. The visual stimulation software is provided at https://github.com/eulerlab/QDSpy.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Katrin Franke

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. André Maia Chagas

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Zhijian Zhao

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3302-1495
  4. Maxime JY Zimmermann

    School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Philipp Bartel

    School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Yongrong Qiu

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Klaudia P Szatko

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Tom Baden

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Thomas Euler

    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    For correspondence
    thomas.euler@cin.uni-tuebingen.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4567-6966

Funding

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (FKZ: 01GQ1002)

  • Katrin Franke

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (M.FE.A.KYBE0004)

  • Katrin Franke

European Commission (ERC-StG 'NeuroVisEco' 677687)

  • Tom Baden

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 674901)

  • Tom Baden
  • Thomas Euler

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/R014817/1)

  • Tom Baden

Leverhulme Trust (PLP-2017-005)

  • Tom Baden

Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine

  • Tom Baden

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Projektnummer 276693517 - SFB 1233)

  • Thomas Euler

Medical Research Council (MC_PC_15071)

  • Tom Baden

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All animal procedures adhered to the laws governing animal experimentation issued by the GermanGovernment (mouse) or all procedures were performed in accordance with the UK Animals (ScientificProcedures) act 1986 and approved by the animal welfare committee of the University of Sussex(zebrafish larvae).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alexander Borst, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: May 24, 2019
  2. Accepted: September 20, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 23, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 8, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Franke et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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