qOMR-XT - Vision testing for rats

qOMR-XT frontal view

The optomotor response measurement (OMR) is a proven method to assess visual function in rodents. The PhenoSys qOMR-XT extends the qOMR product line to applications where larger animals, such as adult rats are to be studied. It is a unique system that objectively measures the OMR with minimal experimenter effort. Based on real-time head tracking, quantitative OMR measurements automatically provide visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. This is a PhenoSys Collaboration product brought to market together with its developer, Dr. Friedrich Kretschmer.


Hardware features

  • Suitable for adult rats
  • Calibrated 4 screen environment for presenting the virtual stimulation cylinder
  • Elevated central platform for placing the unrestrained animal
  • Top and bottom mirrors to create the illusion of infinite depth for optimized stimulation
  • IR-camera for automated head tracking independent of coat color
  • Adjustable IR-illumination
  • Anti-reflective (and protective) shields for the screens
  • Filter set for scotopic measurements
  • Differently sized pedestals for rats and mice

Software features

  • Video-based real-time tracking of head movement is used for both:
    1. Continuous automated position-adjustment of the virtual cylinder to the animal´s head position.
    2. Evaluation of head movement synchronous to the stimulation for a quantitative measure of the optomotor response. This analysis is fully automated.
  • Batch run option with multiple stimulation protocols.

General application areas:

  • Characterization of vision
  • Screening for vision defects
  • Tracking of disease progression and recovery
  • Phenotyping of new breed lines
  • Quantification of treatment response


Characterisation or preclinical testing in relevant disease models, for example:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Restoration of vision


Investigation of various aspects of vision in mice and other rodents:

  • Visual acuity
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Spectral sensitivity
  • Temporal sensitivity
  • Simple, robust, and non-invasive test to examine vision in rodents
  • Fully automated measurement and analysis: no manual positioning of the stimulus, no specially trained experimenter required, time and cost effective, and unbiased
  • As a reflex, optomotor response measurements do not require animal training
  • Freely behaving animals, no surgery, no fixation
  • Flexible, user-friendly experimental design and data handling.

qOMR-XT with opened lid

qOMR-XT with wheeled stand

qOMR-XT with rat on pedestal

Francia S, Shmal D, Di Marco S, Chiaravalli G, Maya-Vetencourt JF, Mantero G, Michetti C, Cupini S, Manfredi G, DiFrancesco ML, Rocchi A, Perotto S, Attanasio M, Sacco R, Bisti S, Mete M, Pertile G, Lanzani G, Colombo E, Benfenati F. Light-induced charge generation in polymeric nanoparticles restores vision in advanced-stage retinitis pigmentosa rats. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 27;13(1):3677. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31368-3. PMID: 35760799; PMCID: PMC9237035.