Visual acuity in pelagic fishes and mollusks

Gagnon, Yakir L., Sutton, Tracey T. and Johnsen, Soenke (2013) Visual acuity in pelagic fishes and mollusks. Vision Research, 92 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2013.08.007

Author Gagnon, Yakir L.
Sutton, Tracey T.
Johnsen, Soenke
Title Visual acuity in pelagic fishes and mollusks
Journal name Vision Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0042-6989
Publication date 2013-11-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.visres.2013.08.007
Open Access Status
Volume 92
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In the sea, visual scenes change dramatically with depth. At shallow and moderate depths (<1000 m), there is enough light for animals to see the surfaces and shapes of prey, predators, and conspecifics. This changes below 1000 m, where no downwelling daylight remains and the only source of light is bioluminescence. These different visual scenes require different visual adaptations and eye morphologies. In this study we investigate how the optical characteristics of animal lenses correlate with depth and ecology. We measured the radius, focal length, and optical quality of the lenses of pelagic fishes, cephalopods, and a gastropod using a custom-built apparatus. The hatchetfishes (Argyropelecus aculeatus and Sternoptyx diaphana) and the barrel-eye (Opisthoproctus soleatus) were found to have the best lenses, which may allow them to break the counterillumination camouflage of their prey. The heteropod lens had unidirectional aberrations that matched its ribbon-shaped retina. We also found that lens angular resolution increased with depth. Due to a similar trend in the angular separation between adjacent ganglion cells in the retinas of fishes, the perceived visual contrast at the retinal cutoff frequency was constant with depth. The increase in acuity with depth allows the predators to focus all the available light bioluminescent prey animals emit and detect their next meal.
Keyword Eye
Point spread function
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID N00014-09-1-1053
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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