Sequel to 3D glasses: this time, scientists put glasses on the squid again
Sequel to 3D glasses: this time, scientists put glasses on the squid again
Squid: I went to the movies

Neuroscientists sometimes do some very interesting experiments. A study of putting 3D glasses on mantis has been introduced before. the researchers confirmed through the mini 3D glasses of two-color lenses and the corresponding two-color images that the mantis also has the ability to sense the depth of space using binocular parallax (more reading: remember the praying mantis with 3D glasses? The researchers have found something new! ).

in that study, the mantis with 3D glasses looked like this:

(the lenses were fixed with beeswax. Source: MIKE URWIN/NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY)

and now, the series of 3D glasses has ushered in a new chapter: inspired by the study of Mantis, some researchers have put red and blue 3D glasses on squid, also to study the perception of three-dimensional space by their vision system.

Let's introduce this time's protagonist, the ordinary squid (Sepia officinalis) with red and blue 3D glasses.

this pair of red and blue glasses is fixed in front of the squid by some adhesive. After putting on the subjects' glasses, the researchers showed them some special 3D films on the side of the tank. These films are made up of two-color images of swimming shrimps, which can only be seen on each side of the eye through the filter. If squid can use binocular parallax to judge the distance of an object, like humans, adjusting the position of the two-color image can create the illusion of depth perception, making the squid think that the shrimp is in a position higher than the front or back of the screen.

(a schematic diagram of the principle of 3D glasses changing distance perception, from the original paper)

how to judge whether the squid has the corresponding stereoscopic illusion? Just look at the predation they make. The squid will take the image of the shrimp as prey, then quickly reach out their tentacles to try to capture it, and they will adjust their position to ensure that the attack is at the right distance.

the results show that the squid did see the effect of the 3D movie through their glasses. For example, the subject in the picture below, the position of the tentacle attack is much higher than that of the screen. This is because it senses the image floating out of the screen through binocular parallax.

in addition, the researchers compared the performance of squid when they could only use one eye and when they were able to use binocular parallax. If the experimental conditions are changed so that the squid can see the image in only one eye, they will hesitate longer before attacking, suggesting that the clues of parallax are indeed helpful for them to hunt.

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in short, there is another kind of invertebrate that can perceive the depth of space using the visual cues of both eyes. These experiments should also help scientists learn more about the workings behind the depth sensing system.

Research sources of squid: