Target Detection Is Enhanced by Polarization Vision in a Fiddler Crab

How, Martin J., Christy, John H., Temple, Shelby E., Hemmi, Jan M., Marshall, N.  Justin and Roberts, Nicholas W. (2015) Target Detection Is Enhanced by Polarization Vision in a Fiddler Crab. Current Biology, 25 23: 3069-3073. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.073

Author How, Martin J.
Christy, John H.
Temple, Shelby E.
Hemmi, Jan M.
Marshall, N.  Justin
Roberts, Nicholas W.
Title Target Detection Is Enhanced by Polarization Vision in a Fiddler Crab
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
Publication date 2015-12-07
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.073
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 23
Start page 3069
End page 3073
Total pages 5
Place of publication Cambridge, MA, United States
Publisher Cell Press
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract We are constantly surprised by the ability of relatively simple animals to perform precise visually guided movements within complex visual scenes, often using eyes with limited resolution. Exceptional examples include the capture of airborne prey by dragonflies [1], the learning flights of bees and wasps [2], and the tracking of conspecifics by crabs on intertidal mudflats [3, 4 and 5]. Most studies have focused on how animals do this using sensitivity to intensity or color. However, it is increasingly evident that a third ability, polarization vision, may contribute to such tasks. In many insects, polarization-sensitive photoreceptors are confined within an area of the eye known as the dorsal rim [6], which detects the polarized sky pattern specifically for navigation [7]. However, some animals, including fiddler crabs, are sensitive to the polarization of light across the majority of their image-forming eyes [8 and 9], potentially allowing them to use polarization information to increase perceived contrast for general visual tasks [10, 11, 12 and 13]. Investigations into the use of polarization image-parsing by animals have largely been confined to laboratory settings under artificial lighting [10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18]. This approach can occasionally mislead if the lighting conditions are different from natural [19]. This study presents the first behavioral evidence from the natural context for a function of polarization image parsing. Using experimental manipulations in wild populations of the fiddler crab Uca stenodactylus, we provide evidence that these animals use their polarization vision to enhance contrast in their visual environment, thereby increasing their ability to detect and respond to objects on the mudflat surface.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 09 Dec 2015, 00:18:12 EST by Susan Day on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute