The secret world of shrimps : Polarisation vision at its best

Kleinlogel, Sonja and White, Andrew G. (2008) The secret world of shrimps : Polarisation vision at its best. PLoS One, 3 5: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002190

Author Kleinlogel, Sonja
White, Andrew G.
Title The secret world of shrimps : Polarisation vision at its best
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2008-05-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0002190
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 3
Issue 5
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United Sates
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 0608 Zoology
Formatted abstract

Animal vision spans a great range of complexity, with systems evolving to detect variations in light intensity, distribution, colour, and polarisation. Polarisation vision systems studied to date detect one to four channels of linear polarisation, combining them in opponent pairs to provide intensity-independent operation. Circular polarisation vision has never been seen, and is widely believed to play no part in animal vision.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Polarisation is fully measured via Stokes' parameters—obtained by combined linear and circular polarisation measurements. Optimal polarisation vision is the ability to see Stokes' parameters: here we show that the crustacean Gonodactylus smithii measures the exact components required.


This vision provides optimal contrast-enhancement and precise determination of polarisation with no confusion states or neutral points—significant advantages. Linear and circular polarisation each give partial information about the polarisation of light—but the combination of the two, as we will show here, results in optimal polarisation vision. We suggest that linear and circular polarisation vision not be regarded as different modalities, since both are necessary for optimal polarisation vision; their combination renders polarisation vision independent of strongly linearly or circularly polarised features in the animal's environment. © 2008 Kleinlogel, White.
Keyword Shrimps
Polarisation vision
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number: e2190

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 12 Jan 2010, 19:55:07 EST by Tara Johnson on behalf of Faculty of Science