Skip to main content

Spatiotemporal visual statistics of aquatic environments in the natural habitats of zebrafish

Go to Publication »

Sci Rep. 2023 Jul 25;13(1):12028. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-36099-z.


Animal sensory systems are tightly adapted to the demands of their environment. In the visual domain, research has shown that many species have circuits and systems that exploit statistical regularities in natural visual signals. The zebrafish is a popular model animal in visual neuroscience, but relatively little quantitative data is available about the visual properties of the aquatic habitats where zebrafish reside, as compared to terrestrial environments. Improving our understanding of the visual demands of the aquatic habitats of zebrafish can enhance the insights about sensory neuroscience yielded by this model system. We analyzed a video dataset of zebrafish habitats captured by a stationary camera and compared this dataset to videos of terrestrial scenes in the same geographic area. Our analysis of the spatiotemporal structure in these videos suggests that zebrafish habitats are characterized by low visual contrast and strong motion when compared to terrestrial environments. Similar to terrestrial environments, zebrafish habitats tended to be dominated by dark contrasts, particularly in the lower visual field. We discuss how these properties of the visual environment can inform the study of zebrafish visual behavior and neural processing and, by extension, can inform our understanding of the vertebrate brain.

PMID:37491571 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-36099-z

Read More »