Behavioral Responses to Pulses of Light in the Longfin Inshore Squid, Doryteuthis Pealeii

Meeting Abstract

P3.147  Sunday, Jan. 6  Behavioral Responses to Pulses of Light in the Longfin Inshore Squid, Doryteuthis Pealeii HADJISOLOMOU, S. P.; Graduate Center of The City University of New York

The unshelled coleoid cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) are renowned for their rapid, adaptive camouflage which is under direct neural control. This anti-predatory mechanism is extremely efficient at deceiving the visual system of predators and also allows for communication within and between species. This behavior is driven by a sensorimotor system, which receives and then integrates information from the eyes and selectively activates intradermal color-pigmented skin cells called chromatophore organs. The question of how cephalopods control their chromatophores has received considerable attention from the perspectives of color modulation and contrast in ethology. While the anatomical arrangement of the neuro-muscular components of chromatophores and the sensory contributions of the visual system has been studied, the computation underlying the information processing of the chromatophore control system that enables such behavior is still unknown. The impulse-response system identification technique was used to test the hypothesis that a sudden, intense visual stimulus (pulse of light) can trigger chromatophore responses in Longfin Inshore Squid, Doryteuthis pealeii (Lesueur, 1821). A camera recording at 240 Hz was used to capture behavioral responses before and after the pulse of light. There was an immediate, brief activation of the chromatophore organs following the pulse of light and this behavior was extremely reliable across pulses with a 3-second interstimulus interval, without signs of habituation. The results reported here provide a description of the timing relationships in the dynamics of brain function that control the chromatophore system response to light input. This study seems a natural increment to proceed attempting to understand color control in cephalopod chromatophore systems.

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