Polarization-Sensitive Optomotor Reaction in Invertebrates

  • Gábor Horváth
  • Dezső Varjú


If a pattern of vertical black and white stripes is rotated around an animal, it usually displays a turning reaction. The tendency for the animal to turn in the direction of motion of a pattern is called “optomotor response”, which demonstrates that the animal is able to detect the movement of the optical environment on the basis of brightness cues. This behaviour serves to stabilize the animal’s orientation with respect to the environment, and helps it to maintain a straight course during locomotion. The optomotor reaction of insects to black-and-white (B&W) patterns has been intensively studied (e.g. Hassenstein and Reichardt 1956; Varjú 1959). Studies of the dependence of motion perception on the wavelength of light demonstrated that the visual subsystems performing directionally-selective movement detection are usually colour-blind (e.g. Kaiser 1974; Lehrer et al. 1990).


Polarization Pattern Polarization Sensitivity Open Loop Gain Optomotor Response Green Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gábor Horváth
    • 1
  • Dezső Varjú
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological PhysicsEötvös UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl Kognitive NeurowissenschaftenUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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