Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2013 Jun 6;498(7452):65-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12153. Epub 2013 May 26.

Rats maintain an overhead binocular field at the expense of constant fusion.

Author information

1
Network Imaging Group, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstra├če 41, 72076 T├╝bingen, Germany.

Abstract

Fusing left and right eye images into a single view is dependent on precise ocular alignment, which relies on coordinated eye movements. During movements of the head this alignment is maintained by numerous reflexes. Although rodents share with other mammals the key components of eye movement control, the coordination of eye movements in freely moving rodents is unknown. Here we show that movements of the two eyes in freely moving rats differ fundamentally from the precisely controlled eye movements used by other mammals to maintain continuous binocular fusion. The observed eye movements serve to keep the visual fields of the two eyes continuously overlapping above the animal during free movement, but not continuously aligned. Overhead visual stimuli presented to rats freely exploring an open arena evoke an immediate shelter-seeking behaviour, but are ineffective when presented beside the arena. We suggest that continuously overlapping visual fields overhead would be of evolutionary benefit for predator detection by minimizing blind spots.

Comment in

PMID:
23708965
DOI:
10.1038/nature12153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center