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Bumblebee visual allometry results in locally improved resolution and globally improved sensitivity

Taylor, Gavin J. LU ; Tichit, Pierre LU ; Schmidt, Marie D. LU ; Bodey, Andrew J.; Rau, Christoph and Baird, Emily LU (2019) In eLife 8.
Abstract

The quality of visual information that is available to an animal is limited by the size of its eyes. Differences in eye size can be observed even between closely related individuals, yet we understand little about how this affects vision. Insects are good models for exploring the effects of size on visual systems because many insect species exhibit size polymorphism. Previous work has been limited by difficulties in determining the 3D structure of eyes. We have developed a novel method based on x-ray microtomography to measure the 3D structure of insect eyes and to calculate predictions of their visual capabilities. We used our method to investigate visual allometry in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and found that size affects specific... (More)

The quality of visual information that is available to an animal is limited by the size of its eyes. Differences in eye size can be observed even between closely related individuals, yet we understand little about how this affects vision. Insects are good models for exploring the effects of size on visual systems because many insect species exhibit size polymorphism. Previous work has been limited by difficulties in determining the 3D structure of eyes. We have developed a novel method based on x-ray microtomography to measure the 3D structure of insect eyes and to calculate predictions of their visual capabilities. We used our method to investigate visual allometry in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and found that size affects specific aspects of vision, including binocular overlap, optical sensitivity, and dorsofrontal visual resolution. This reveals that differential scaling between eye areas provides flexibility that improves the visual capabilities of larger bumblebees.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
allometry, computational biology, computational geometry, eyes, MicroCT, neuroscience, optical model, systems biology, vision
in
eLife
volume
8
publisher
eLife Sciences Publications LTD.
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062173393
ISSN
2050-084X
DOI
10.7554/eLife.40613
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1b5c14e2-9819-4b04-bb0e-482462e8b13b
date added to LUP
2019-03-11 12:21:46
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:33:26
@article{1b5c14e2-9819-4b04-bb0e-482462e8b13b,
  abstract     = {<p>The quality of visual information that is available to an animal is limited by the size of its eyes. Differences in eye size can be observed even between closely related individuals, yet we understand little about how this affects vision. Insects are good models for exploring the effects of size on visual systems because many insect species exhibit size polymorphism. Previous work has been limited by difficulties in determining the 3D structure of eyes. We have developed a novel method based on x-ray microtomography to measure the 3D structure of insect eyes and to calculate predictions of their visual capabilities. We used our method to investigate visual allometry in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and found that size affects specific aspects of vision, including binocular overlap, optical sensitivity, and dorsofrontal visual resolution. This reveals that differential scaling between eye areas provides flexibility that improves the visual capabilities of larger bumblebees.</p>},
  articleno    = {e40613},
  author       = {Taylor, Gavin J. and Tichit, Pierre and Schmidt, Marie D. and Bodey, Andrew J. and Rau, Christoph and Baird, Emily},
  issn         = {2050-084X},
  keyword      = {allometry,computational biology,computational geometry,eyes,MicroCT,neuroscience,optical model,systems biology,vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  publisher    = {eLife Sciences Publications LTD.},
  series       = {eLife},
  title        = {Bumblebee visual allometry results in locally improved resolution and globally improved sensitivity},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.40613},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2019},
}