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Visual Ecology and the Development of Visually Guided Behavior in the Cuttlefish

Abstract : Cuttlefish are highly visual animals, a fact reflected in the large size of their eyes and visual-processing centers of their brain. Adults detect their prey visually, navigate using visual cues such as landmarks or the e-vector of polarized light and display intense visual patterns during mating and agonistic encounters. Although much is known about the visual system in adult cuttlefish, few studies have investigated its development and that of visually-guided behavior in juveniles. This review summarizes the results of studies of visual development in embryos and young juveniles. The visual system is the last to develop, as in vertebrates, and is functional before hatching. Indeed, embryonic exposure to prey, shelters or complex background alters postembryonic behavior. Visual acuity and lateralization, and polarization sensitivity improve throughout the first months after hatching. The production of body patterning in juveniles is not the simple stimulus-response process commonly presented in the literature. Rather, it likely requires the complex integration of visual information, and is subject to inter-individual differences. Though the focus of this review is vision in cuttlefish, it is important to note that other senses, particularly sensitivity to vibration and to waterborne chemical signals, also play a role in behavior. Considering the multimodal sensory dimensions of natural stimuli and their integration and processing by individuals offer new exciting avenues of future inquiry.
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Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Nawel Mezraï, Caitlin E. O'Brien, Ludovic Dickel. Visual Ecology and the Development of Visually Guided Behavior in the Cuttlefish. Frontiers in Physiology, Frontiers, 2017, 8, pp.402. ⟨10.3389/fphys.2017.00402⟩. ⟨hal-01542696⟩



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