Coral reef fish present the human observer with an array of bold and contrasting patterns; however, the ability of such fish to perceive these patterns is largely unexamined. To understand this, the visual acuity of these animals - the degree to which they can resolve fine detail - must be ascertained. Behavioural studies are few in number and anatomical analysis has largely focused on estimates of ganglion cell density to predict the visual acuity in coral reef fish. Here, we report visual acuity measures for the triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Acuity was first assessed using a series of behavioural paradigms and the figures were then contrasted with those obtained anatomically, based on photoreceptor and ganglion cell counts. Behavioural testing indicated an upper behavioural acuity of 1.75 cycles·degree-1, which is approximately the same level of acuity as that of the goldfish (Carassiusauratus). Anatomical estimates were then calculated from wholemount analysis of the photoreceptor layer and Nissl staining of cells within the ganglion cell layer. Both of these anatomical measures gave estimates that were substantially larger (7.75 and 3.4 cycles·degree-1 for the photoreceptor cells and ganglion cells, respectively) than the level of acuity indicated by the behavioural tests. This indicates that in this teleost species spatial resolution is poor compared to humans (30-70 cycles·degree-1) and it is also not well indicated by anatomical estimates.

1.
Anderson RS, Thibos LN (1999): Relationship between acuity for gratings and for tumbling-E letters in peripheral vision. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 16:2321-2333.
2.
Baburina EA, Bogatyrev PB, Protasov VR (1968): A study of age variation of acuity of sight of some fish. Zool Zhurnal 47:1364-1369.
3.
Baerends GP, Bennema BE, Vogelzang AA (1960): Über die Änderung der Sehschärfe mit dem Wachstum bei Aequidens portalegrensis (Hensel) (Pisces, Cichlidae). Zool Jahrb Abt Syst Oko 88:67-78.
4.
Bozzano A, Collin SP (2000): Retinal ganglion cell topography in elasmobranchs. Brain Behav Evol 55:191-208.
5.
Breck JE, Gitter MJ (1983): Effect of fish size on the reactive distance of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) sunfish. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 40:162-167.
6.
Browman HI, Gordon WC, Evans BI, O'Brien WJ (1990): Correlation between histological and behavioral measures of visual acuity in a zooplanktivorous fish, the white crappie (Pomoxis annularis). Brain Behav Evol 35:85-97.
7.
Brunner G (1934): Über die Sehschärfe der Elritze (Phoxinus laevis) bei Verschiedenen Helligkeiten. Z Vergl Physiol 21:296-316.
8.
Campbell F, Gubisch R (1966): Optical quality of the human eye. J Physiol 186:558-578.
9.
Collin SP, Pettigrew JD (1988a): Retinal ganglion cell topography in teleosts: a comparison between Nissl-stained material and retrograde labelling from the optic nerve. J Comp Neurol 276:412-422.
10.
Collin SP, Pettigrew JD (1988b): Retinal topography in reef teleosts. 1. Some species with well-developed areae but poorly-developed streaks. Brain Behav Evol 31:269-282.
11.
Collin SP, Pettigrew JD (1988c): Retinal topography in reef teleosts. 2. Some species with prominent horizontal streaks and high-density areae. Brain Behav Evol 31:283-295.
12.
Collin SP, Pettigrew JD (1989): Quantitative comparison of the limits on visual spatial resolution set by the ganglion cell layer in twelve species of reef teleosts. Brain Behav Evol 34:184-192.
13.
Douglas RH, Hawryshyn CW (1990): Behavioural studies of fish vision: an analysis of visual capabilities; in Douglas RH, Djamgoz MBA (eds): The Visual System of Fish. London, Chapman and Hall, pp 373-418.
14.
Fahle M (2002): Learning to perceive features below the foveal photoreceptor spacing; in Fahle M, Poggio T (eds): Perceptual Learning. Cambridge, MIT Press, pp 197-218.
15.
Fernald RD, Wright SE (1985): Growth of the visual system in the African cichlid fish, Haplochromis burtoni: accommodation. Vision Res 25:163-170.
16.
Giurfa M, Vorobyev M, Kevan P, Menzel R (1996): Detection of coloured stimuli by honeybees: minimum visual angles and receptor specific contrasts. J Comp Physiol A 178:699-709.
17.
Hairston NG, Li KT, Easter SS (1982): Fish vision and the detection of planktonic prey. Science 218:1240-1242.
18.
Helmholtz HV, König AP (1896): Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik 2 (unbearbeitete Auflage). Hamburg & Leipzig, Voss, vol 19, pp 1331-1334.
19.
Hering E (1861): Beiträge zur Physiologie: zur Lehre vom Ortsinne der Netzhaut. Leipzig, Engelmann.
20.
Hester FJ (1968): Visual contrast thresholds of the goldfish (Carassius auratus). Vision Res 8:1315-1336.
21.
Hodos W, Yolen NM (1976): Behavioral correlates of ‘tectal compression' in goldfish. 2. Visual acuity. Brain Behav Evol 13:468-474.
22.
Hughes A (1977): The topography of vision in mammals of contrasting life style: comparative optics and retinal organisation; in Crescitelli F (ed): The Visual System in Vertebrates. Berlin, Springer, pp 613-756.
23.
Johns PR (1977): Growth of the adult goldfish eye. 3. Source of the new retinal cells. J Comp Neurol 176:343-358.
24.
Johns PR, Easter SSJ (1977): Growth of the adult goldfish eye. 2. Increase in retinal cell number. J Comp Neurol 176:331-342.
25.
Kock JH (1982): Neuronal addition and retinal expansion during growth of the crucian carp eye. J Comp Neurol 209:264-274.
26.
Kock JH, Reuter T (1978): Retinal ganglion cells in the crucian carp (Carassius carassius). 1. Size and number of somata in eyes of different size. J Comp Neurol 179:535-548.
27.
Koshitaka H, Kinoshita M, Vorobyev M, Arikawa K (2008): Tetrachromacy in a butterfly that has eight varieties of spectral receptors. Proc Biol Sci 275:947-954.
28.
Land MF (1981): Optics and vision in invertebrates; in Autrum H (ed): Handbook of Sensory Physiology. Berlin, Springer, pp 471-592.
29.
Litherland L, Collin SP (2008): Comparative visual function in elasmobranchs: spatial arrangement and ecological correlates of photoreceptor and ganglion cell distributions. Vis Neurosci 25:549-561.
30.
Litherland L, Collin SP, Fritsches KA (2009): Visual optics and ecomorphology of the growing shark eye: a comparison between deep and shallow water species. J Exp Biol 212:3583-3594.
31.
Longley WH (1917): Studies upon the biological significance of animal coloration. 1. The colors and color changes of West Indian reef-fishes. J Exp Zool 23:533-601.
32.
Ludvigh E (1953): Direction sense of the eye. Am J Ophthalmol 36:139-143.
33.
Luecke C, O'Brien WJ (1981a): Prey location volume of a planktivorous fish: a new measure of prey vulnerability. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 38:1264-1270.
34.
Luecke C, O'Brien WJ (1981b): Phototoxicity and fish predation: selective factors in color morphs in Heterocope. Limnol Oceanogr 26:454-460.
35.
Lythgoe JN (1979): The Ecology of Vision. Oxford, Clarendon Press, p 244.
36.
Marshall NJ (2000): Communication and camouflage with the same ‘bright' colours in reef fishes. Phil Trans R Soc London B Biol Sci 355:1243-1248.
37.
Marshall NJ, Vorobyev M (2003): The design of color signals and color vision in fishes; in Marshall NJ, Collin SP (eds): Sensory Processing in the Aquatic Environment. New York, Springer, pp 194-222.
38.
Maximov V, Maximova E, Damjanovic I, Maximov P (2013): Detection and resolution of drifting gratings by motion detectors in the fish retina. J Integr Neurosci 12:117-143.
39.
Maximova EM (1999): Colour and spatial properties of detectors of orientated lines in the fish retina. Iugosl Physiol Pharmacol Acta 34:351-358.
40.
Meer H, Van Der J, Anker GC (1984): Retinal resolving power and sensitivity of the photopic system in seven haplochromine species (Pisces, Teleostei). Neth J Zool 34:197-209.
41.
Meyer RL (1978): Evidence from thymidine labelling for continuing growth of retina and tectum in juvenile goldfish. Exp Neurol 59:99-111.
42.
Müller H (1952): Bau and Wachstum der Netzhaut des Guppy (Lebistes reticulatus). Zool Jahrb Abt Allg Zool Physiol 63:275-324.
43.
Muntz WRA (1974): Comparative aspects in behavioural studies of vertebrate vision; in Davson H, Graham LT Jr (eds): The Eye. New York, Academic Press.
44.
Nakamura EL (1968): Visual acuity of two tunas, Katsuwonus pelamis and Euthynnus affinis. Copeia 1968:41-49.
45.
Neave DA (1984): The development of visual acuity in larval plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L. ) and turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 78:167-175.
46.
Neumeyer C (2003): Wavelength dependence of visual acuity in goldfish. J Comp Physiol A 189:811-821.
47.
Northmore DPM (1977): Spatial summation and light adaptation in the goldfish visual system. Nature 268:450-451.
48.
Northmore DPM, Dvorak CA (1979): Contrast sensitivity and acuity of the goldfish. Vision Res 19:255-261.
49.
Northmore DPM, Oh D-J, Celenza MA (2007): Acuity and contrast sensitivity of the bluegill sunfish and how they change during optic nerve regeneration. Vis Neurosci 24:319-331.
50.
Penzlin H, Stubbe M (1977): Untersuchungen zur Sehschärfe des Goldfisches (Carassius auratus L.). Zool Jahrb Abt Allg Zool Physiol 81:310-326.
51.
Pignatelli V, Champ C, Marshall J, Vorobyev M (2010): Double cones are used for colour discrimination in the reef fish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Biol Lett 6:537-539.
52.
Pignatelli V, Marshall J (2010): Morphological characterization of retinal bipolar cells in the marine teleost Rhinecanthus aculeatus. J Comp Neurol 518:3117-3129.
53.
Prusky GT, West PWR, Douglas RM (2000): Behavioral assessment of visual acuity in mice and rats. Vision Res 40:2201-2209.
54.
Rahmann H, Jeserich G, Zeutzius I (1979): Ontogeny of visual acuity of rainbow trout under normal conditions and light deprivation. Behaviour 68:315-322.
55.
Reymond L (1987): Spatial visual acuity of the falcon, Falco berigora: a behavioural, optical and anatomical investigation. Vision Res 27:1859-1874.
56.
Rodieck RW (1973): The vertebrate retina: principles of structure and function. San Francisco, Freeman.
57.
Sharma SC, Ungar F (1980): Histogenesis of the goldfish retina. J Comp Neurol 191:373-382.
58.
Sivak JG (1980): Accommodation in vertebrates: a contemporary survey. Curr Top Eye Res 3:281-330.
59.
Srinivasan MV, Lehrer M (1988): Spatial acuity of honeybee vision and its spectral properties. J Comp Physiol A 162:159-172.
60.
Stone J (1981): The Wholemount Handbook: a Guide to the Preparation and Analysis of Retinal Wholemounts. Sydney, Maitland.
61.
Tamura T, Wisby WJ (1963): The visual sense of pelagic fishes especially the visual axis and accommodation. Bull Mar Sci 13:433-448.
62.
Temple SE, Manietta D, Collin SP (2013): A comparison of behavioural (Landolt C) and anatomical estimates of visual acuity in archerfish (Toxotes chatareus). Vision Res 83:1-8.
63.
Vinyard GL, O'Brien WJ (1976): Effects of light and turbidity on the reactive distance of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). J Fish Res Board Can 33:2845-2849.
64.
Warrant EJ (1999): Seeing better at night: life style, eye design and the optimum strategy of spatial and temporal summation. Vision Res 39:1611-1630.
65.
Weiler IJ (1966): Restoration of visual acuity after optic nerve section and regeneration, in Astronotus ocellatus. Exp Neurol 15:377-386.
66.
Westheimer G (1976): Spatial frequency and light spread descriptions of visual acuity and hyperacuity. J Opt Soc Am 66:1078.
67.
Westheimer G, McKee SP (1975): Visual acuity in the presence of retinal-image motion. J Opt Soc Am 65:847-850.
68.
Wilkinson F (1972): A Behavioral Measure of Grating Acuity in the Goldfish; thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax.
69.
Williamson M, Keast A (1988): Retinal structure relative to feeding in the rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Can J Zool 66:2840-2846.
70.
Yamanouchi T (1956): The visual acuity of the coral fish Microcanthus strigatus (Cuvier and Valenciennes). Publ Seto Mar Biol Lab 5:133-156.
71.
Yolen NM, Hodos W (1976): Behavioral correlates of tectal compression in goldfish. Brain Behav Evol 13:451-467.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.