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Vision Res. 2000;40(18):2489-97.

Visual perception and stimulus orientation in cattle.

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C. and O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research, University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The pupil in the eye of adult cattle is oval under contraction with the long axis nearly horizontal. Based on simple optophysical facts it is hypothesised that visual perception in such eyes is different for stimuli with vertically-separated details rather than stimuli with horizontally-separated details. This hypothesis was tested with three adult dairy bulls using an operant conditioning technique. The bulls had to discriminate a solid white line from broken white lines with decreasing interspaces. They solved this task better when the stimuli were presented vertically rather than horizontally. This result is discussed in terms of visual acuity and related to the topographical anatomy of the eye, particularly the pupil.

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