The long-term goals of the work proposed in this grant application are to study neural plasticity of the adult mammalian visual system by adding new sensory input. Experiments that enhance rather than ablate sensory input offer a new avenue of research for answering fundamental questions about the plasticity of the adult visual system and have important implications for the rational design of gene therapy and retinal prostheses. We have chosen red-green color vision as a model system in which gain of function can be monitored quantitatively at the level of the retina using the electroretinogram and at the level of the visual cortex with behavioral tests of color vision. As a first step toward achieving our long term goals, we propose two specific aims.
Specific Aim 1. To determine whether adding a third cone type via viral mediated delivery of a photopigment gene to the retina in a dichromatic adult squirrel monkey can expand his sensory capacity and change color vision behavior from dichromatic to trichromatic.
Specific Aim 2. To determine whether expressing a long-wavelength sensitive pigment gene in a subset of UV cones via viral mediated gene delivery to the gerbil retina can expand the gerbil's color vision capacity to include making color discriminations in the red-green region of the spectrum.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biology and Diseases of the Posterior Eye Study Section (BDPE)
Program Officer
Neuhold, Lisa
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Schmidt, Brian P; Touch, Phanith; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2016) Circuitry to explain how the relative number of L and M cones shapes color experience. J Vis 16:18
Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay (2014) Curing color blindness--mice and nonhuman primates. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 4:a017418
Schmidt, Brian P; Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay (2014) Neurobiological hypothesis of color appearance and hue perception. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 31:A195-207
Bunce, John A; Isbell, Lynne A; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2011) Characterization of opsin gene alleles affecting color vision in a wild population of titi monkeys (Callicebus brunneus). Am J Primatol 73:189-96
Neitz, Jay; Neitz, Maureen (2011) The genetics of normal and defective color vision. Vision Res 51:633-51
Mancuso, Katherine; Mauck, Matthew C; Kuchenbecker, James A et al. (2010) A multi-stage color model revisited: implications for a gene therapy cure for red-green colorblindness. Adv Exp Med Biol 664:631-8
Conway, Bevil R; Chatterjee, Soumya; Field, Greg D et al. (2010) Advances in color science: from retina to behavior. J Neurosci 30:14955-63
Soares, Juliana G M; Fiorani, Mario; Araujo, Eduardo A et al. (2010) Cone photopigment variations in Cebus apella monkeys evidenced by electroretinogram measurements and genetic analysis. Vision Res 50:99-106
Mancuso, Katherine; Hauswirth, William W; Li, Qiuhong et al. (2009) Gene therapy for red-green colour blindness in adult primates. Nature 461:784-7
Mauck, Matthew C; Mancuso, Katherine; Kuchenbecker, James A et al. (2008) Longitudinal evaluation of expression of virally delivered transgenes in gerbil cone photoreceptors. Vis Neurosci 25:273-82