Advanced

Visual reliability and information rate in the retina of a nocturnal bee.

Frederiksen, Rikard LU ; Wcislo, William T and Warrant, Eric LU (2008) In Current Biology 18(5). p.349-353
Abstract
Nocturnal animals relying on vision typically have eyes that are optically and morphologically adapted for both increased sensitivity and greater information capacity in dim light [1]. Here, we investigate whether adaptations for increased sensitivity also are found in their photoreceptors by using closely related and fast-flying nocturnal and diurnal bees as model animals. The nocturnal bee Megalopta genalis is capable of foraging and homing by using visually discriminated landmarks at starlight intensities [2, 3]. Megalopta's near relative, Lasioglossum leucozonium, performs these tasks only in bright sunshine. By recording intracellular responses to Gaussian white-noise stimuli [4, 5], we show that photoreceptors in Megalopta actually... (More)
Nocturnal animals relying on vision typically have eyes that are optically and morphologically adapted for both increased sensitivity and greater information capacity in dim light [1]. Here, we investigate whether adaptations for increased sensitivity also are found in their photoreceptors by using closely related and fast-flying nocturnal and diurnal bees as model animals. The nocturnal bee Megalopta genalis is capable of foraging and homing by using visually discriminated landmarks at starlight intensities [2, 3]. Megalopta's near relative, Lasioglossum leucozonium, performs these tasks only in bright sunshine. By recording intracellular responses to Gaussian white-noise stimuli [4, 5], we show that photoreceptors in Megalopta actually code less information at most light levels than those in Lasioglossum. However, as in several other nocturnal arthropods [6-13], Megalopta's photoreceptors possess a much greater gain of transduction, indicating that nocturnal photoreceptors trade information capacity for sensitivity. By sacrificing photoreceptor signal-to-noise ratio and information capacity in dim light for an increased gain and, thus, an increased sensitivity, this strategy can benefit nocturnal insects that use neural summation to improve visual reliability at night. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Current Biology
volume
18
issue
5
pages
349 - 353
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:18328705
  • wos:000253932000026
  • scopus:40349096202
ISSN
1879-0445
DOI
10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.057
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
16eeba1b-62da-4fae-8a91-954661054648 (old id 1052718)
date added to LUP
2008-04-28 14:33:58
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:55:45
@article{16eeba1b-62da-4fae-8a91-954661054648,
  abstract     = {Nocturnal animals relying on vision typically have eyes that are optically and morphologically adapted for both increased sensitivity and greater information capacity in dim light [1]. Here, we investigate whether adaptations for increased sensitivity also are found in their photoreceptors by using closely related and fast-flying nocturnal and diurnal bees as model animals. The nocturnal bee Megalopta genalis is capable of foraging and homing by using visually discriminated landmarks at starlight intensities [2, 3]. Megalopta's near relative, Lasioglossum leucozonium, performs these tasks only in bright sunshine. By recording intracellular responses to Gaussian white-noise stimuli [4, 5], we show that photoreceptors in Megalopta actually code less information at most light levels than those in Lasioglossum. However, as in several other nocturnal arthropods [6-13], Megalopta's photoreceptors possess a much greater gain of transduction, indicating that nocturnal photoreceptors trade information capacity for sensitivity. By sacrificing photoreceptor signal-to-noise ratio and information capacity in dim light for an increased gain and, thus, an increased sensitivity, this strategy can benefit nocturnal insects that use neural summation to improve visual reliability at night.},
  author       = {Frederiksen, Rikard and Wcislo, William T and Warrant, Eric},
  issn         = {1879-0445},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {349--353},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Current Biology},
  title        = {Visual reliability and information rate in the retina of a nocturnal bee.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.057},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2008},
}