Eyes wide shut: night-active fish have bigger eyes but smaller vision centers in their brain
Lars Schmitz
Understanding how the form and function of an organism evolves in response to environmental challenges is a central goal of evolutionary biology. New research, led by Teresa Iglesias and Alex Dornburg, with contributions from Lars Schmitz and others, shows that the preferred activity time of an organism (night-active vs. day-active) is an important driver of eye and brain evolution in marine fish. Night-active fish have larger eyes with enhanced capability to see in dim light, but these fish have smaller areas in the brain devoted to the processing of visual information. These findings demonstrate how vision plays a role in brain evolution, illuminating common design principles of the vertebrate visual system.  


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