How do rats and mice see the world? Because their eyes are on the side of their head with a big nose in the middle, would they see two 180 degree images with a blur in the middle or would it be like a split screen?

Also how could I translate their sense of smell into a human perspective - for example do they have a map in their brain of scents to make their way around an environment?

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    $\begingroup$ You might be better off on Biology. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mar 19 '15 at 1:12

Actually if you look at a rat head on you'll see that both their eyes are visible. This makes sense, it's how they see where they're going.

According to this website, rat vision looks something like this:

enter image description here

It's a little blurry in general, they don't have really great eyes. You can watch a video of it with the right 3D equipment.

In this paper the vision for each eye and the combination is shown.

Theoretically you could make some goggles that emulate the field of view for a rat and wear them around. Such augmentations have been done to turn people's vision upside down and the amazing thing is, people's brains eventually interpret this vision correctly, right side up.

For smell you could try mapping it to a visual sense, like the aliens in the Alien vs Predator games.

enter image description here

But it's more likely that mice and rats simply correlate a smell with what they're currently seeing. I can't seem to find the study, but I recall a Morris water maze test where smells and images were associated with the location of the maze exit. It's vague in my mind though, so may not exist.

  • $\begingroup$ That's a great answer. Thanks. I was thinking some kind of coloured aura or trails of colour (that would appear as a coloured gas, like green for food, red for predators) would be a way to map sources of smell, say food, or predators. One other thing I'm wondering though is if they can smell through barriers, such as walls. This would make for interesting puzzles. $\endgroup$ – the_wellman Mar 19 '15 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ An interesting corollary to the goggles experiment is that once these people took off the goggles when they were used to it, again they saw the world upside down and had to readjust all over again. It is like we rewire our brains. $\endgroup$ – Neil Mar 19 '15 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of great stuff! From what I recall their time perception is probably considerably dilated relative to ours, so things that seem fast to us are likely to feel slow to them. $\endgroup$ – glenatron Mar 19 '15 at 11:07

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