A Common Methodological Error: Intensity Patterns Induced by Selective Reflection of Linearly Polarized Light from Black Surfaces

  • Gábor Horváth
  • Dezső Varjú


In behavioural laboratory experiments studying animal orientation, black surfaces are traditionally used to minimize the influence of light reflected from the surfaces surrounding the animal. The same tradition has been adopted by the majority of researchers investigating polarization sensitivity of animals. However, in these cases the use of black surfaces is the worst choice, as shown in this chapter and as already mentioned in Chap. 31. Coemans and Vos (1989), Coemans et al. (1990, 1994a) and Vos et al. (1995) have called the attention of the scientific community to the need for elimination of such strongly polarizing black surfaces. This has lead to the change of paradigm in behavioural experiments on animal polarization sensitivity.


Intensity Pattern Polarization Sensitivity Black Surface Brightness Difference Selective Reflection 
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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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