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SLU researcher finds a turtle eye muscle adapts to deal with obstructed vision
Date:9/19/2013

ed a way to compensate and direct its eyes forward to best examine its environment. Moreover, the superior oblique muscle may play a role in this behavior as its direction of pull is more like that of a front-eyed animal than that of animals with eyes on the side of their heads.

Eye movements are related to the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), a reflex whose brain pathways are also studied by Ariel. The VOR allows your eyes to adjust their position when you move your head. For example, when you turn your head to the right, your eyes move to the left to keep the image you're looking at within your field of view. The VOR also is a clinical test used to check eye reflexes in people. When this process is not working, people can experience vertigo, for example.

Ariel, who has studied pond turtles for 25 years, says they are unique among all animals because they block their peripheral vision by pulling their heads into their shell. "Not all turtles can do this. A sea turtle, for example, cannot pull its head into its shell. We expected that pond turtles would be like other turtles and other lateral eye animals" said Ariel. "That wasn't the case. Surprising, their eye movements can also be like that of humans".


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Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer
bebermcl@slu.edu
314-977-8015
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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