Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Visual acuity in larval zebrafish: behavior and histology


Haug, M F; Biehlmaier, O; Mueller, K P; Neuhauss, S C F (2010). Visual acuity in larval zebrafish: behavior and histology. Frontiers in Zoology, 7(3):8.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Visual acuity, the ability of the visual system to distinguish two separate objects at a given angular distance, is influenced by the optical and neuronal properties of the visual system. Although many factors may contribute, the ultimate limit is photoreceptor spacing. In general, at least one unstimulated photoreceptor flanked by two stimulated ones is needed to perceive two objects as separate. This critical interval is also referred to as the Nyquist frequency and is according to the Shannon sampling theorem the highest spatial frequency where a pattern can be faithfully transmitted. We measured visual acuity in a behavioral experiment and compared the data to the physical limit given by photoreceptor spacing in zebrafish larvae. RESULTS: We determined visual acuity by using the optokinetic response (OKR), reflexive eye movements in response to whole field movements of the visual scene. By altering the spatial frequency we determined the visual acuity at approximately 0.16 cycles/degree (cpd) (minimum separable angle = 3.1 degrees ). On histological sections we measured the retinal magnification factor and the distance between double cones, that are thought to mediate motion perception. These measurements set the physical limit at 0.24 cpd (2.1 degrees ). CONCLUSION: The maximal spatial information as limited by photoreceptor spacing can not be fully utilized in a motion dependent visual behavior, arguing that the larval zebrafish visual system has not matured enough to optimally translate visual information into behavior. Nevertheless behavioral acuity is remarkable close to its maximal value, given the immature state of young zebrafish larvae.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Visual acuity, the ability of the visual system to distinguish two separate objects at a given angular distance, is influenced by the optical and neuronal properties of the visual system. Although many factors may contribute, the ultimate limit is photoreceptor spacing. In general, at least one unstimulated photoreceptor flanked by two stimulated ones is needed to perceive two objects as separate. This critical interval is also referred to as the Nyquist frequency and is according to the Shannon sampling theorem the highest spatial frequency where a pattern can be faithfully transmitted. We measured visual acuity in a behavioral experiment and compared the data to the physical limit given by photoreceptor spacing in zebrafish larvae. RESULTS: We determined visual acuity by using the optokinetic response (OKR), reflexive eye movements in response to whole field movements of the visual scene. By altering the spatial frequency we determined the visual acuity at approximately 0.16 cycles/degree (cpd) (minimum separable angle = 3.1 degrees ). On histological sections we measured the retinal magnification factor and the distance between double cones, that are thought to mediate motion perception. These measurements set the physical limit at 0.24 cpd (2.1 degrees ). CONCLUSION: The maximal spatial information as limited by photoreceptor spacing can not be fully utilized in a motion dependent visual behavior, arguing that the larval zebrafish visual system has not matured enough to optimally translate visual information into behavior. Nevertheless behavioral acuity is remarkable close to its maximal value, given the immature state of young zebrafish larvae.

Statistics

Citations

21 citations in Web of Science®
24 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

109 downloads since deposited on 07 Apr 2010
14 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:1 March 2010
Deposited On:07 Apr 2010 14:36
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 15:15
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1742-9994
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-9994-7-8
PubMed ID:20193078

Download

Download PDF  'Visual acuity in larval zebrafish: behavior and histology'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)