Visual Ecology

Animal eyes are exquisitely well adapted to  support species-specific vision, which differs greatly across the vertebrate lineage. Accordingly, understanding retinal computations fundamentally requires understanding how the animal in question uses its eyes, and what aspects of the natural visual world are of particular behavioural relevance. To contribute to our growing understanding of animal visual ecology, we therefore complement our core physiology work with field work where we visit our animal’s natural habitat and map their visual environment using custom built camera and scanner systems. This in turn allows us to relate our physiology and behavioural data to their natural purpose.

Drawing: Artist’s’ impression of zebrafish larva with paramecium illuminated by the sun (by Sonia Aguera). Video: Paramecia (larval zebrafish prey) in a naturalistic tank placed in the midday sun, with “yellow” filter (left) and UV filter (right). Paramecia are much easier to spot in the UV channel as bright moving dots.

Related key publications

Zhou M*, Bear J*, Roberts PA, Janiak FK, Semmelhack J, Yoshimatsu T, Baden T§. (2020). Zebrafish Retinal Ganglion Cells Asymmetrically Encode Spectral and Temporal Information Across Visual Space. Current Biology 30, 2927-2942. (bioRxiv version). direct link. pdf.

Yoshimatsu T§, Schroeder C, Nevala NE, Berens P, Baden T§. (2020). Fovea-like Photoreceptor Specializations Underlies Single UV Cone Driven Prey-Capture Behaviour in Zebrafish. Neuron (107):1-18. direct link. (bioRxiv version)pdf. Primer by Westo and Ala-Laurila.

Zimmermann MJY*, Nevala NE*, Yoshimatsu T*, Osorio D, Nilsson DE, Berens P, Baden T§. (2018). Zebrafish differentially process colour across visual space to match natural scenes. Current Biology 28(1-15). direct link. (bioRxiv version). pdf.

Nevala NE§ and Baden T§. (2019). A low-cost hyperspectral scanner for natural imaging above and under water. Scientific Reports (9) 10799. (biorXiv version). direct link. pdf.

Baden T*, Schubert T*, Chang L, Wei T, Zaichuk M, Wissinger B and Euler T§. (2013). A Tale of Two Retinal Domains: Near Optimal Sampling of Achromatic Contrasts in Natural Scenes Through Asymmetric Photoreceptor Distribution. Neuron 80: 1206-1217. pdf Supplementary [1].

 Dehmelt FA, Meier R, Hinz J, Yoshimatsu T, Simacek CA, Wang K, Baden T, Arrenberg A§. (2019). Spherical arena reveals optokinetic response tuning to stimulus location, size and frequency across entire visual field of larval zebrafish. bioRxiv doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/754408. direct link. pdf.

Reviews

Baden T§, Euler T, Berens P. Understanding the retinal basis of vision across species. Nature Reviews Neuroscience doi:10.1038/s41583-019-0242-1. direct linkpdf.

Baden T§. Editorial for special issue on “Vertebrate Vision: Lessons from Non-Model Species”. Sem Cell Dev Biol. https://doi..org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.05.028. direct link. pdf.

 

Main people involved in visual ecology work

Noora E Nevala

Noora E Nevala

Natural Imaging/ Behaviour

Naomi Green

Naomi Green

Behaviour

Takeshi Yoshimatsu

Takeshi Yoshimatsu

Retinal circuits

Philipp Bartel

Philipp Bartel

Retinal circuits