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In Nihon yakurigaku zasshi. Folia pharmacologica Japonica

Animals can make appropriate decisions based on sensory information about the environment. Vision is one of the most critical ability for survival in dynamic situations in nature, particularly for mammalian species, such as primates, carnivores, and rodents. Although there is a huge computational cost involved in processing visual information, the brain can perform this task very rapidly using well-organized parallel and hierarchical neural circuits, enabling animals to rapidly sense the environment and, in turn, perform adaptive actions. Physiological, psychophysical, and clinical studies over hundreds of years have delineated the neural circuit mechanisms of the visual system. Artificial intelligence and robotics have also started making progress in this area. However, due to technical limitations, there are still many open questions that elude explanation in understanding the neural mechanism of visuomotor integration. Herein, we initially describe the anatomical structures of occipital cortices related to vision and then provide an overview of the physiological and clinical studies of the dorsal visual pathway related to spatial perception and prediction in non-human primate species. Finally, we introduce recent approaches in which rodents have been used as model species to elucidate the neural circuit mechanism of visually-guided behavior. Uncovering neural implementation of the association between visual-spatial perception and visuomotor function could provide key insights into the engineering of highly active robots and could also contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies addressing visual impairment and psychiatric/neurological disorders.

Takeuchi Ryosuke F, Osakada Fumitaka