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Visual asymmetries in cuttlefish during brightness matching for camouflage

Abstract : Many animals use camouflage to avoid detection by predators. Camouflage can take several forms, one of which includes brightness matching, a form of crypsis, which occurs when an individual resembles the brightness of their surrounding habitat. Most animals have evolved skin patterning that is fixed and specific to their environment, typically limiting their camouflage abilities to a particular habitat [1]. By contrast, crypsis in cuttlefish is dynamic because they can change their body patterns rapidly (270–730 milliseconds) in response to the visual environment through neural control of pigmented organs known as chromatophores 2, 3. Cuttlefish respond to conflicting visual cues, that is, to different visual information on their left and right sides, with mixed body patterns [4]. This response may be modulated by perceptual asymmetries in visual processing, since cuttlefish exhibit biases when processing visual information, termed visual lateralization [5]. Visual lateralization occurs when information in one visual field is prioritized over the other visual field during a specific behavior, but this phenomenon and its potential effect on camouflage behavior have never before been investigated. We report here that juvenile cuttlefish have a right eye preference for brightness matching, as the substrate perceived in their right visual field was prioritized.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 12, 2018 - 10:57:47 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 9, 2020 - 5:22:12 PM

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Alexandra Schnell, Cécile Bellanger, Giorgio Vallortigara, Christelle Jozet-Alves. Visual asymmetries in cuttlefish during brightness matching for camouflage. Current Biology - CB, Elsevier, 2018, 28 (17), pp.R925 - R926. ⟨10.1016/j.cub.2018.07.019⟩. ⟨hal-01894161⟩

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