Cell-type-specific binocular vision guides predation in mice

Keith P. Johnson, Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Lei Zhao, Bing Wang, Sean McCracken, Philip R. Williams, Daniel Kerschensteiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Predators use vision to hunt, and hunting success is one of evolution's main selection pressures. However, how viewing strategies and visual systems are adapted to predation is unclear. Tracking predator-prey interactions of mice and crickets in 3D, we find that mice trace crickets with their binocular visual fields and that monocular mice are poor hunters. Mammalian binocular vision requires ipsi- and contralateral projections of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to the brain. Large-scale single-cell recordings and morphological reconstructions reveal that only a small subset (9 of 40+) of RGC types in the ventrotemporal mouse retina innervate ipsilateral brain areas (ipsi-RGCs). Selective ablation of ipsi-RGCs (<2% of RGCs) in the adult retina drastically reduces the hunting success of mice. Stimuli based on ethological observations indicate that five ipsi-RGC types reliably signal prey. Thus, viewing strategies align with a spatially restricted and cell-type-specific set of ipsi-RGCs that supports binocular vision to guide predation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1539.e4
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 5 2021


  • depth perception
  • ganglion cell
  • hunting
  • ipsilateral projection
  • prey capture
  • retina
  • stereopsis


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