Abstract The DBA/2J mouse is a model of age-related pigmentary glaucoma in humans. Visual detection, pattern discrimination and visual acuity were evaluated in DBA/2J, C57BL/6J, B6. mpc1d (a C57 congenic strain) and D2. mpc1b (a D2 congenic strain) mice at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age. Mice were also tested in the Morris Water Maze and olfactory discrimination learning task. At 6 months, DBA/2J and D2. mpc1b mice outperformed C57BL/6J and B6. mpc1d mice in the visual detection task and there were no strain differences in performance on the water maze. At 12, 18 and 24 months, C57BL/6J and B6. mpc1d mice outperformed DBA/2J and D2. mpc1b mice in the vision tasks and in the water maze. Strains did not differ in the olfactory learning task. Therefore, loss of visual function occurs between 6 and 12 months of age in DBA/2J mice. Strain differences in visual task performance accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in measures of learning and memory in the water maze at 12, 18 and 24 months of age.