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Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?


Wehner, R (2001). Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity? Journal of Experimental Biology, 204(14):2589-2596.

Abstract

In this concept paper, three scenarios are described in which animals make use of polarized light: the underwater world, the water surface and the terrestrial habitat vaulted by the pattern of polarized light in the sky. Within these various visual environments, polarized light is used in a number of ways that make quite different demands on the neural circuitries mediating these different types of behaviour. Apart from some common receptor and pre-processing mechanisms, the underlying neural mechanisms may differ accordingly. Often, information about chi (the angle of polarization), d (the degree of polarization) and lambda (the spectral content) might not --and need not--be disentangled. Hence, the hypothesis entertained in this account is that polarization vision comes in various guises, and that the answer to the question posed in the title is most probably no.

Abstract

In this concept paper, three scenarios are described in which animals make use of polarized light: the underwater world, the water surface and the terrestrial habitat vaulted by the pattern of polarized light in the sky. Within these various visual environments, polarized light is used in a number of ways that make quite different demands on the neural circuitries mediating these different types of behaviour. Apart from some common receptor and pre-processing mechanisms, the underlying neural mechanisms may differ accordingly. Often, information about chi (the angle of polarization), d (the degree of polarization) and lambda (the spectral content) might not --and need not--be disentangled. Hence, the hypothesis entertained in this account is that polarization vision comes in various guises, and that the answer to the question posed in the title is most probably no.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Aquatic Science
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Insect Science
Language:English
Date:1 July 2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:01 Jan 2021 08:10
Publisher:Company of Biologists
ISSN:0022-0949
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/204/14/2589
PubMed ID:11511675

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