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Vision Guides Selection of Freeze or Flight Defense Strategies in Mice

De Franceschi, G; Vivattanasarn, T; Saleem, AB; Solomon, SG; (2016) Vision Guides Selection of Freeze or Flight Defense Strategies in Mice. Current Biology , 26 (16) pp. 2150-2154. 10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.006. Green open access

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Abstract

In prey species such as mice, avoidance of predators is key to survival and drives instinctual behaviors like freeze or flight. Sensory signals guide the selection of appropriate behavior, and for aerial predators only vision provides useful information. Surprisingly, there is no evidence that vision can guide the selection of escape strategies. Fleeing behavior can be readily triggered by a rapidly looming overhead stimulus. Freezing behavior, however, has previously been induced by real predators or their odors. Here, we discover that a small moving disk, simulating the sweep of a predator cruising overhead, is sufficient to induce freezing response in mice. Looming and sweeping therefore provide visual triggers for opposing flight and freeze behaviors and provide evidence that mice innately make behavioral choices based on vision alone.

Type: Article
Title: Vision Guides Selection of Freeze or Flight Defense Strategies in Mice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.006
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.006
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: mouse, innate behavior, predator and prey, visual pathways
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1508016
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