Vision Science 84, Section 1

Comparative eye design: Differences between animals and relationship to visual needs (1 unit, P/NP)

Monday 10:00-11:00, Minor Hall (specific room TBD), Class number: 29687

This seminar is designed for students interested in eyes and/or vision and curious about biological design and evolution, with possible career goals of vision research or eye-related health professions.

The eyes have it in terms of diversity of design. Also why do we have just 2 eyes and the poisonous box jellyfish has multiple eyes at the base of each of its 4 sets of tentacles? This seminar examines and compares the eyes and also the vision of different animals, as primitive as jellyfish to other primates, in the context of their usual habitat and behavior. There are lessons to be learned from comparing eye designs across the animal kingdom. Examples where such analyses have spawned new bioengineering lines of research will be given. This seminar will review and compare not only the structural components of various eyes but also the associated motor and neural accessories, by way of understanding the diversity of designs, and strengths and limitations from a functional perspective. The course includes hands-on activities and an excursion. Those interested in ecology, vet med through to medicine and optometry may find this topic interesting, especially if you are curious about what eyes really look like, as some eye dissections are included.