Research Topic

Vision in Cephalopods

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About this Research Topic

Cephalopods usually have large and mobile eyes with which they constantly scan their environment. The eyes of cephalopods are single-chamber eyes which show resemblance to vertebrate eyes. However there are marked differences such as the cephalopod eye having an everted retina instead of an inverted retina ...

Cephalopods usually have large and mobile eyes with which they constantly scan their environment. The eyes of cephalopods are single-chamber eyes which show resemblance to vertebrate eyes. However there are marked differences such as the cephalopod eye having an everted retina instead of an inverted retina found in vertebrates. Their visual system allows the cephalopods, depending on species, to discriminate objects on the basis of their shapes or sizes, images from mirror images or to learn from the observation of others. The cephalopod visual system is also polarization sensitive and controls camouflage, an extraordinary ability almost exclusive to all cephalopods; they are capable of rapidly adapting their body coloration as well as altering their body shape to any background, in almost any condition and even during self-motion. Visual scene analysis ultimately leads to motor outputs that cause an appropriate change in skin coloration or texture by acting directly on chromatophores or papillae in the skin. Mirroring these numerous functions of the visual system, large parts of the cephalopod brain are devoted to the processing of visual information.

This Research Topic is aimed to focus on current advances in the knowledge of cephalopod vision. It is designed to facilitate merging questions, approaches and data available through the work of different researchers working on different aspects of cephalopod vision. Thus the research topic will create mutual awareness, and will facilitate the growth of a field of research with a long tradition - cephalopod vision, visual perception and cognition as well as the mechanisms of camouflage.

This Research Topic is an outcome of a workshop on "Vision in cephalopods" organized under the aegis of the COST Action FA1301. The COST Action FA1301 welcomes contributions not delivered at the workshop to embrace current cephalopod research. We envision contributions from controlled laboratory experiments as well as from field observations. The contributions might thematically range from (1) basic aspects of the eye and corresponding brain areas, (2) visual cognition, (3) visual orientation, (4) visual development, (5) mechanisms of cephalopod camouflage to (6) a historical perspective on research on cephalopod vision. We highly encourage contributions in the format of original research as well as mini reviews but welcome all other Frontiers article types including methods or hypothesis and theory.


Keywords: cephalopods, vision, eyes, visual perception, visual cognition, visual orientation, visual development, optics, camouflage, polarization vision, spatial vision


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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