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We have a growing understanding of the light-sensing organs and light-influenced behaviours of animals with distributed visual systems, but we have yet to learn how these animals convert visual input into behavioural output. It has been suggested they consolidate visual information early in their sensory-motor pathways, resulting in them being able to detect visual cues (spatial resolution) without being able to locate them (spatial vision). To explore how an animal with dozens of eyes processes visual information, we analysed the responses of the bay scallop Argopecten irradians to both static and rotating visual stimuli. We found A. irradians distinguish between static visual stimuli in different locations by directing their sensory tentacles towards them and were more likely to point their extended tentacles towards larger visual stimuli. We also found that scallops track rotating stimuli with individual tentacles and with rotating waves of tentacle extension. Our results show, to our knowledge for the first time that scallops have both spatial resolution and spatial vision, indicating their sensory-motor circuits include neural representations of their visual surroundings. Exploring a wide range of animals with distributed visual systems will help us learn the different ways non-cephalized animals convert sensory input into behavioural output.

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© 2021 The Authors.

Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

APA Citation

Chappell, D. R., Horan, T. M., & Speiser, D. I. (2021). Panoramic spatial vision in the bay scallop argopecten irradians. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288(1962).

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