Visual acuity in a species of coral reef fish: Rhinecanthus aculeatus

Champ, Connor, Wallis, Guy, Vorobyev, Misha, Siebeck, Ulrike and Marshall, Justin (2014) Visual acuity in a species of coral reef fish: Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 83 1: 31-42. doi:10.1159/000356977

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Author Champ, Connor
Wallis, Guy
Vorobyev, Misha
Siebeck, Ulrike
Marshall, Justin
Title Visual acuity in a species of coral reef fish: Rhinecanthus aculeatus
Journal name Brain, Behavior and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-8977
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1159/000356977
Open Access Status
Volume 83
Issue 1
Start page 31
End page 42
Total pages 12
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher S. Karger AG
Language eng
Subject 2806 Developmental Neuroscience
2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
Abstract Coral reef fish present the human observer with an array of bold and contrasting patterns; however, the ability of such fish to perceive these patterns is largely unexamined. To understand this, the visual acuity of these animals - the degree to which they can resolve fine detail - must be ascertained. Behavioural studies are few in number and anatomical analysis has largely focused on estimates of ganglion cell density to predict the visual acuity in coral reef fish. Here, we report visual acuity measures for the triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Acuity was first assessed using a series of behavioural paradigms and the figures were then contrasted with those obtained anatomically, based on photoreceptor and ganglion cell counts. Behavioural testing indicated an upper behavioural acuity of 1.75 cycles·degree -1, which is approximately the same level of acuity as that of the goldfish (Carassiusauratus). Anatomical estimates were then calculated from wholemount analysis of the photoreceptor layer and Nissl staining of cells within the ganglion cell layer. Both of these anatomical measures gave estimates that were substantially larger (7.75 and 3.4 cycles·degree-1 for the photoreceptor cells and ganglion cells, respectively) than the level of acuity indicated by the behavioural tests. This indicates that in this teleost species spatial resolution is poor compared to humans (30-70 cycles·degree-1) and it is also not well indicated by anatomical estimates.
Keyword Cone density
Ganglion cells
Retinal topography
Retinal wholemount
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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