PerspectivePhysiology

A Clearer View from Fuzzy Images

Science  27 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6067, pp. 409-410
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216887

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Summary

Blurred vision is caused by an image not being focused correctly on the retina. In humans, blurred vision retards our ability to accurately perceive the world, and we go to great lengths to correct unfocused vision. In some spiders, however, images are deliberately defocused on the retina to provide for the crucial depth perception that allows high-precision jumps. On page 469 of this issue, Nagata et al. (1) elegantly demonstrate this novel form of depth perception in jumping spiders through a combination of molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral experiments.