Assessment of the special senses allows for evaluation of cranial nerve function as well as normal structure and function of the eyes, ears, and brain. In some cases, a known phenotype for a specific transgene is the loss of visual or auditory acuity early in the life span. In others, a slight change in brain and cranial nerve structure or in development can have large affects on the ability of the genetically engineered mouse to hear and see normally from birth. Detection of changes in these special senses will provide a broader phenotype, especially as related to aging and degeneration studies.
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