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The spatial tuning of achromatic and chromatic vision in budgerigars

Lind, Olle LU and Kelber, Almut LU (2011) In Journal of Vision 11(7).
Abstract
Birds are assumed to use half of their cones (double cones) to detect fine spatial detail while their other half (single cones) is used for color vision. However, the spatial resolution of the color pathway in birds has never been studied. We determined the spatial contrast sensitivity to achromatic and isoluminant red-green and blue-green color gratings in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Contrast sensitivity to achromatic gratings has band-pass characteristics while that for red-green and blue-green gratings has low-pass properties. Maximum sensitivity is lower to blue-green than to red-green gratings and the acuity for both color gratings is less than half (ca. 4.5 cycles/degree) of that for achromatic gratings (ca. 10... (More)
Birds are assumed to use half of their cones (double cones) to detect fine spatial detail while their other half (single cones) is used for color vision. However, the spatial resolution of the color pathway in birds has never been studied. We determined the spatial contrast sensitivity to achromatic and isoluminant red-green and blue-green color gratings in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Contrast sensitivity to achromatic gratings has band-pass characteristics while that for red-green and blue-green gratings has low-pass properties. Maximum sensitivity is lower to blue-green than to red-green gratings and the acuity for both color gratings is less than half (ca. 4.5 cycles/degree) of that for achromatic gratings (ca. 10 cycles/degree). This suggests that achromatic vision in birds, as in humans and bees, is tuned for detecting fine detail while chromatic vision is tuned for viewing larger fields. Similar to humans, blue-sensitive cones contribute little to spatial vision. Moreover, budgerigars detected gratings having both achromatic and chromatic contrasts more reliably at high spatial frequencies than gratings with either of these contrasts, suggesting that the single and double cone pathways are incompletely separated. The study demonstrates the importance of the spatial dimension of color vision; fine patterns remain unresolved even if they present large color contrasts. (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
Journal of Vision
volume
11
issue
7
publisher
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
external identifiers
  • wos:000292382400002
  • pmid:21636524
  • scopus:84891693035
ISSN
1534-7362
DOI
10.1167/11.7.2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2468bd73-0d29-4a58-8db1-30cd65baa831 (old id 2008558)
date added to LUP
2011-08-10 21:05:18
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:05:38
@article{2468bd73-0d29-4a58-8db1-30cd65baa831,
  abstract     = {Birds are assumed to use half of their cones (double cones) to detect fine spatial detail while their other half (single cones) is used for color vision. However, the spatial resolution of the color pathway in birds has never been studied. We determined the spatial contrast sensitivity to achromatic and isoluminant red-green and blue-green color gratings in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Contrast sensitivity to achromatic gratings has band-pass characteristics while that for red-green and blue-green gratings has low-pass properties. Maximum sensitivity is lower to blue-green than to red-green gratings and the acuity for both color gratings is less than half (ca. 4.5 cycles/degree) of that for achromatic gratings (ca. 10 cycles/degree). This suggests that achromatic vision in birds, as in humans and bees, is tuned for detecting fine detail while chromatic vision is tuned for viewing larger fields. Similar to humans, blue-sensitive cones contribute little to spatial vision. Moreover, budgerigars detected gratings having both achromatic and chromatic contrasts more reliably at high spatial frequencies than gratings with either of these contrasts, suggesting that the single and double cone pathways are incompletely separated. The study demonstrates the importance of the spatial dimension of color vision; fine patterns remain unresolved even if they present large color contrasts.},
  author       = {Lind, Olle and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {1534-7362},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  publisher    = {Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology},
  series       = {Journal of Vision},
  title        = {The spatial tuning of achromatic and chromatic vision in budgerigars},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/11.7.2},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2011},
}