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The pupillary response of cephalopods

Douglas, R. H., Williamson, R. & Wagner, H. J. (2005). The pupillary response of cephalopods. The Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB), 208(2), pp. 261-265. doi: 10.1242/jeb.01395


This paper provides the first detailed description of the time courses of light-evoked pupillary constriction for two species of cephalopods, Sepia officinalis (a cuttlefish) and Eledone cirrhosa (an octopus). The responses are much faster than hitherto reported, full contraction in Sepia taking less than 1 s, indicating it is among the most rapid pupillary responses in the animal kingdom. We also describe the dependence of the degree of pupil constriction on the level of ambient illumination and show considerable variability between animals. Furthermore, both Sepia and Eledone lack a consensual light-evoked pupil response. Pupil dilation following darkness in Sepia is shown to be very variable, often occurring within a second but at other times taking considerably longer. This may be the result of extensive light-independent variations in pupil diameter in low levels of illumination.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Animals, Atlantic Ocean, Light, Mollusca, Reflex, Pupillary, Species Specificity, Time Factors
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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