Virtual Reality (VR) systems can be used with mice and rats to investigate brain functions during decision making. The JetBall-TFT is a worldwide unique product with a TFT surround monitor system and a spherical treadmill with optional operant devices. The JetBall, an air cushioned spherical treadmill allows a restrained animal to navigate in a virtual world. Brain function can be examined with electrophysiological, imaging and optogenetic methods while the animal performs behavioural tasks employing navigation, cognition, learning, or memory.
If you missed our VR landing page about the benefits of experimenting with VR, read more
“The virtual reality system from Phenosys allows us to perform stable electrophysiological recordings with glass electrodes and silicon probes from mice running on a jet ball. The combination of visual, olfactory and auditory stimuli combined with an online read-out of behavioural actions makes this system an ideal tool to study neuronal circuits in the operating brain. We have been successfully using this system to study gamma oscillations, place cells and spatial navigation in the hippocampus (Lasztoczi and Klausberger, Neuron 2014; Lasztoczi and Klausberger, Neuron 2016).”
Prof. Dr. Thomas Klausberger (MedUni Wien, Austria)
Lasztoczi B, Klausberger T. (2014) Layer-Specific GABAergic Control of Distinct Gamma Oscillations in the CA1 Hippocampus. Neuron, 81: 1126-1139 read more
Lasztoczi B, Klausberger T. (2016) Hippocampal Place Cells Couple to Three Different Gamma Oscillations during Place Field Traversal. Neuron, 91: 34–40 read more
Examples of neural dynamics during navigation and decision making in, e.g., a Corridor or T-Maze:
“Fuhrmann et al. identify a glutamatergic medial septal circuit that controls the initiation and velocity of locomotion. This circuit mediates the pre-motor initiation of theta oscillations and, via hippocampal disinhibition, underlies the locomotion speed dependence of hippocampal neuronal firing rates.”
Fuhrmann et al., 2015
Fuhrmann F. et al., 2015. Locomotion, Theta Oscillations, and the Speed-Correlated Firing of Hippocampal Neurons Are Controlled by a Medial Septal Glutamatergic Circuit. Neuron 86: 1–12 read more
|Power input voltage||100-240 V AC|
|Power consumption||850 W (maximal), 500 W (typical)|
|TFT Surround Monitor|
|270°, in octagonal arrangement with six 19”-TFT sub-units||Top view|
|Resolution - display||1280(x3) x 1024 pixels|
|JetBall Spherical Treadmill, 20 cm for Mice|
|Ball Holder lenght||20 cm|
|Ball Holder width||20 cm|
|Ball Holder height||8 cm|
|Ball Holder height with ball (without air flow)||21 cm|
|Ball Holder weight||5.5 kg|
|Ball Holder material||Aluminium|
|Ball diameter||20 cm|
|JetBall Spherical Treadmill, 30 cm for Rats (<300g)|
|Ball Holder lenght||30.2 cm|
|Ball Holder width||30.2 cm|
|Ball Holder height||12.0 cm|
|Ball Holder height with ball (without air flow)||31.0 cm|
|Ball Holder weight||19.8 kg|
|Ball Holder material||Aluminium|
|Ball diameter||30 cm|
|Flow meter||4-50 l/min, for experiments: 25 l/min|
|Pressure regulator||6.9 bar (maximal), for experiments: 2 bar|
|Sound pressure level||48-52 dBA (top of the ball, 1 cm distance from the ball, air flow 20 l/min)|
|Material (outer cover)||Polyvinyl chloride|
|Max. speed||Up to 4.19 m/s|
|Typical flow rate||0.45 ml/min|
|Height (without control monitor)||98.5 cm|
|Category||Option||Description||In Basic Package included|
|JetBall Basic Package||
TFT Monitor Surround System 270°, Spherical Treadmill (Ball Holder, two balls), Dual XY-Motion Sensor, movable rack, computer (pre-installed: PhenoSoft Control, PhenoSoft Schedule, PhenoSoft VR, Virtual Corridor 2 m, control monitor, keyboard, computer mouse, power supply unit, pressure regulator system (compressor is not included).
Each maze is available with mode for free or linear run.
Basic package includes one Ball Holder.
|Extra Ball Holder||
Two balls are included in the Basic Package.
Retractable: position is adjustable, servo-driven.
Frontal air puff.
Air flow when animal is approaching virtual walls.
To stop the spherical treadmill, e.g. at the end of a virtual corridor or after a wrong decision in a Y-maze
E.g. to use a sound as a landmark.
E.g. to combine an odour with a landmark.
For optogenetics, imaging or electrophysiology.
Overview of the JetBall-TFT System
JetBall with customized TFT surround monitor ring.
Double door configuration, partially opened.
JetBall Spherical Treadmill
Aluminium Ball Holder with polystyrene ball and the various operant modules (view from the top). The modules are highlighted in the following pictures.
Liquid Reward System
Mounted on the retractable operant device of the Ball Holder. A piezo-based lick sensor (Lick Sensor) is integrated into a cannula; there is an amplifier (black box with knob) with adjustable sensitivity.
Air Puff System
Mounted on the retractable operant device of the Ball Holder. It consists of a metal tube connected by plastic tubing to a valve. Tubing behind the valve connects to the flow meter and the compressed air system.
With two lateral and a frontal servo-driven brake.
Consisting of two metal tubes mounted on articulated arms that are attached to the Ball Holder. Plastic tubing connects to the valves of the compressed air system.
Dual XY-Motion Sensor
Two xy-sensors measure the rotation of the polystyrene ball in x, y and z (yaw, pitch, roll).
Ball Holder (view from the side) with holder for fixing the mouse (on the right side).
Control Unit with Movable Rack
PhenoSoft Control – User Interface
Basic experimental control software used with all products by PhenoSys. Control of hardware components.
PhenoSoft Control – Log File
The log file containing the experimental data is written in a CSV format and is automatically saved.
Experimental schedules are defined with the help of state diagrams by using predefined activities from PhenoSoft.
JetBall-TFT for mice (20cm ball) with a FVMPE-RS from Olympus.
Booth Olympus, FOM 2015.
JetBall-TFT for mice with a Femto2D microscope from the company Femtonics.
Customized solution for 2-photon microscope
TFT ring with double doors. The two central screens are foldable and allow easy access to the interior of the TFT-monitor ring.
TFT monitor ring with double doors and VR display. Fully opened.