Vision research community: review of new zebrafish behavioral capabilities

Published: 04-05-2022 In Case Studie



Vision research community: review of new zebrafish behavioral capabilities 


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Assessing functional vision in zebrafish: a critical need

The state of the world’s eyesight is alarming: 1.7 billion  people are expected to be blind by 2050*.In such a context zebrafish and its eye regenerative properties have appeared to be a starting point for the development of promising human opthalmological treatments. At ViewPoint we think that the assessment of zebrafish visual performance should leave no room for guesswork as it is the first step to gain valuable insights in human eye diseases such as cataract,diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration etc.

* Projections of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Towards new vision breakthrough in zebrafish: quick review from the scientific community

The vision research community needs many different types of behavioral assays to investigate visual deficiencies, each having distinct uses, specificities. Among them is the optokinetic response assay evaluating both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. The optokinetic response assay requires the ability to project a variety of stimulus following zebrafish eye movement with rapid resetting saccades. This appears to be a big challenge for the community because commonly used OKR drums lack the possibility to change the stimuli during the experience.

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Aware of this challenge, ViewPoint engineering teams’ came up with the idea to automate the optokinetic response assay  in order to improve data accuracy and experiment smoothness. This was the release of VisioBox, the first automated optokinetic response device. Since its release in 2014, the optokinetic device has been adopted as as measurement tool for various optokinetic tests serving different research projects from genetic diseases research to environmental toxicology studies ( see below)


Last month, a team of scientists led by Sarah Baxendale, Benjamin Delprat and al investigating Wolfram Syndrome successfully demonstrated how  zebrafish wfs1b mutant line could be used as a relepromising model to identify novel therapeutic solutions for Wolfram syndrome.  Willing to clarify whether or not their zebrafish phenotype show visual deficiencies typical of Wolframe disease they used ViewPoint OKR assay to look for a visual defect in a wfs1 mutant zebrafish model. The assay allows them to detect a reduction of eye saccades, suggesting an optical atrophy. ( see publication)


Investigating toxicological effects, The Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment Ministry of Education,Chinese researchers exploited the potential of the VisioBox technology to test larval zebrafish response to different primary colors in order to investigate the effects of Tetrabromodiphenyl ether, PBDE 47 exposure to different larval cone pigments. see publication)


zebrafish behavior analysis

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From zebrafish Optokinetic response to OptoMotor Response


In line with its approach to provide researchers with tools that matches the research needs, ViewPoint took on the challenge of designing a whole new product helping the vision research community in its work towards the preservation of an healthy vision. Aiming at exploring new aspects of visual reflex, we extended in 2021 the eye tracking capabilities with OMR to determinate head movements and track optomotor response of both adults and zebrafish larvae.

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Optomotor response measurements are assessed using a moving grating as stimulus, controlled via our software ZebraLab. With OMR, the eye tracking capabilities are now extended and allow you to automate the control of stimulus size and rotation speed, adjust physical stimulus depending on the location of zebrafish through software controls as well as settting up spatial frequency.


ARVO 2022

Willing to help accelerate vision discovery, we would be happy to attend ARVO in Denver on May 1 - 4, 2022 to exchange about your zebrafish visual assays and present our new innovative features. 

Meet us on Booth: 1603

Remember that we provide tailored behavioral solutions.We remain at your disposal for any of your requests.




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