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dc.contributor.authorCronin, Thomas W.
dc.contributor.authorShashar, Nadav
dc.contributor.authorCaldwell, Roy L.
dc.contributor.authorMarshall, Justin
dc.contributor.authorCheroske, Alexander G.
dc.contributor.authorChiou, Tsyr-Huei
dc.description.abstractVisual pigments, the molecules in photoreceptors that initiate the process of vision, are inherently dichroic, differentially absorbing light according to its axis of polarization. Many animals have taken advantage of this property to build receptor systems capable of analyzing the polarization of incoming light, as polarized light is abundant in natural scenes (commonly being produced by scattering or reflection). Such polarization sensitivity has long been associated with behavioral tasks like orientation or navigation. However, only recently have we become aware that it can be incorporated into a high-level visual perception akin to color vision, permitting segmentation of a viewed scene into regions that differ in their polarization. By analogy to color vision, we call this capacity polarization vision. It is apparently used for tasks like those that color vision specializes in: contrast enhancement, camouflage breaking, object recognition, and signal detection and discrimination. While color is very useful in terrestrial or shallow-water environments, it is an unreliable cue deeper in water due to the spectral modification of light as it travels through water of various depths or of varying optical quality. Here, polarization vision has special utility and consequently has evolved in numerous marine species, as well as at least one terrestrial animal. In this review, we consider recent findings concerning polarization vision and its significance in biological signaling.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work is based on research supported by the NSF, most recently under Grant Number IBN-0118793, and by the US/Israel BSF, under Grant Number 1999040, as well as by the National Undersea Research Council (Florida Keys Center) and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.en_US
dc.format.extent10 pagesen_US
dc.genrejournal articlesen_US
dc.identifier.citationThomas W. Cronin,, Polarization Vision and Its Role in Biological Signaling, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 43, Issue 4, August 2003, Pages 549–558,
dc.publisherOxford University Pressen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtThe University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
dc.relation.ispartofUMBC Biological Sciences Department Collection
dc.relation.ispartofUMBC Faculty Collection
dc.rightsThis item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
dc.subjectpolarization visionen_US
dc.subjectpolarization sensitivityen_US
dc.subjectmarine speciesen_US
dc.subjectshallow-water environmentsen_US
dc.titlePolarization Vision and Its Role in Biological Signalingen_US

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