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Topography of vision and behaviour

Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 3522-3532
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Experimental Biology
Volym: 212
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: The Company of Biologists Ltd


Given the great range of visual systems, tasks and habitats, there is surprisingly little experimental evidence of how visual

limitations affect behavioural strategies under natural conditions. Analysing this relationship will require an experimental system

that allows for the synchronous measurement of visual cues and visually guided behaviour. The first step in quantifying visual

cues from an animal’s perspective is to understand the filter properties of its visual system. We examined the first stage of visual

processing – sampling by the ommatidial array – in the compound eye of the fiddler crab Uca vomeris. Using an in vivo

pseudopupil method we determined sizes and viewing directions of ommatidia and created a complete eye map of optical and

sampling resolution across the visual field. Our results reveal five distinct eye regions (ventral, dorsal, frontal, lateral and medial)

which exhibit clear differences in the organisation of the local sampling array, in particular with respect to the balance of

resolution and contrast sensitivity. We argue that, under global eye space constraints, these regional optimisations reflect the

information content and behavioural relevance of the corresponding parts of the visual field. In demonstrating the tight link

between visual sampling, visual cues and behavioural strategies, our analysis highlights how the study of natural behaviour and

natural stimuli is essential to our understanding and interpretation of the evolution and ecology of animal behaviour and the

design of sensory systems.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Uca vomeris
  • compound eye
  • eye map
  • resolution
  • Crustacea
  • visual ecology.


  • Lund Vision Group
  • ISSN: 1477-9145

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