ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-001019-6
Perception of Fourier and non-Fourier motion by larval zebrafish
Orger, M.B., Smear, M.C., Anstis, S.M., and Baier, H.
A moving grating elicits innate optomotor behavior in zebrafish larvae; they swim in the direction of perceived motion. We took advantage of this behavior, using computer-animated displays, to determine what attributes of motion are extracted by the fish visual system. As in humans, first-order (luminance-defined or Fourier) signals dominated motion perception in fish; edges or other features had little or no effect when presented with these signals. Humans can see complex movements that lack first-order cues, an ability that is usually ascribed to higher-level processing in the visual cortex. Here we show that second-order (non-Fourier) motion displays induced optomotor behavior in zebrafish larvae, which do not have a cortex. We suggest that second-order motion is extracted early in the lower vertebrate visual pathway.
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