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Attention and distraction in the modular visual system of a jumping spider

Citation

Jakob, Elizabeth et al. (2021), Attention and distraction in the modular visual system of a jumping spider, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v15dv41vz

Abstract

Animals must selectively attend to relevant stimuli and avoid being distracted by unimportant stimuli. Jumping spiders (Salticidae) do this by coordinating eyes with different capabilities. Objects are examined by a pair of high-acuity principal eyes, whose narrow field of view is compensated for by retinal movements. The principal eyes overlap in field of view with motion-sensitive anterior-lateral eyes (ALEs), which direct their gaze to new stimuli. Using a salticid-specific eyetracker, we monitored the gaze direction of the principal eyes as they examined a primary stimulus.We then presented a distractor stimulus visible only to the ALEs and observed whether the principal eyes reflexively shifted their gaze to it or whether this response was flexible. Whether spiders redirected their gaze to the distractor depended on properties of both the primary and distractor stimuli. This flexibility suggests that higher-order processing occurs

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS 1656714