The independence of eye movements in a stomatopod crustacean is task dependent

Ilse Daly, Martin How, Julian Partridge, Nicholas Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
342 Downloads (Pure)


Stomatopods have an extraordinary visual system, incorporating independent movement of their eyes in all three degrees of rotational freedom. In this work we demonstrate that in the peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus, the level of ocular independence is task dependent. During gaze stabilization in the context of optokinesis, there is weak but significant correlation between the left and right eyes in the yaw degree of rotational freedom, but not in in pitch and torsion. When one eye is completely occluded, the uncovered eye does not drive the covered eye during gaze stabilization. However, occluding an eye does significantly affect the uncovered eye, lowering its gaze stabilization performance. There is a lateral asymmetry, with the magnitude of the effect depending on the eye (left or right) combined with the direction of motion of the visual field. In contrast, during a startle saccade, the uncovered eye does drive a covered eye. Such disparate levels of independence between the two eyes suggest that responses to individual visual tasks are likely to follow different neural pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1368
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number7
Early online date29 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017


  • stomatopod
  • saccade
  • eye movements
  • independent eyes
  • neural connections

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