General purpose and special purpose visual systems

Land, M.F. and Nilsson, D-E. (2006) General purpose and special purpose visual systems. In: Warrant, E. and Nilsson, D-E. (eds.) Invertebrate Vision. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 167-210. ISBN 0512830881

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The information that eyes supply supports a wide variety of functions, from the guidance systems that enable an animal to navigate successfully around the environment, to the detection and identification of predators, prey, and conspecifics. The eyes with which we are most familiar the single-chambered eyes of vertebrates and cephalopod molluscs, and the compound eyes of insects and higher crustaceans allow these animals to perform the full range of visual tasks. These eyes have evidently evolved in conjunction with brains that are capable of subjecting the raw visual information to many different kinds of analysis, depending on the nature of the task that the animal is engaged in. However, not all eyes evolved to provide such comprehensive information. For example, in bivalve molluscs we find eyes of very varied design (pinholes, concave mirrors, and apposition compound eyes) whose only function is to detect approaching predators and thereby allow the animal to protect itself by closing its shell. Thus, there are special-purpose eyes as well as eyes with multiple functions.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © Cambridge University Press 2006
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Depositing User: Michael Land
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:52
Google Scholar:11 Citations

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