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Camouflage in a dynamic world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date18 Aug 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2019


We review how animals conceal themselves in the face of the need to move, and how this is modulated by the dynamic components and rapidly varying illumination of natural backgrounds. We do so in a framework of minimising the viewer’s signal-tonoise ratio. Motion can match that of the observer such that there is no relative motion cue, or mimic that of background objects (e.g. swaying leaves). For group-living animals, matched motion and coloration is a special case of the latter ‘motion masquerade’, where each animal is a potential signal against the noise of other individuals. Recent research shows that dynamic illumination, such as underwater caustics or dappled forest shade, greatly impedes detection of moving targets, so may change the balance of predator-prey interactions.

    Research areas

  • spatial attention, motion detection, variable illumination, visual noise, motion camouflage

    Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Visual Perception



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 554 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 18/08/20

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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