Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Sönke Johnsen, PhD

Duke University

Vision in Headless Animals

Wednesday — February 8, 2012
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

Typically animals are divided into two categories: 1) quick-moving, behaviorally complex species with centralized sense organs, and 2) slow, behaviorally simple species with diffuse sense organs. However, it is becoming apparent that certain species fall in between these two groups and that the diffuse sensory systems of many animals are more complex than we originally suspected. This talk discusses three such species—scallops, chitons, and sea urchins—with particular emphasis on the structure of the photoreceptor systems and their visually mediated behaviors. The behavioral, morphological, and physiological results of the studies show that we have much to learn about the diversity of sensory architectures and their potential application to human technologies.


Next: March 28—Adina Paytan, PhD