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Mathis, U., Schaeffel, F. & Howland, H. C. (1988) Visual optics in toads (Bufo americanus). Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 163 201–213. 
Added by: Sarina (05 May 2009 15:03:59 UTC)   
Resource type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1007/BF00612429
BibTeX citation key: Mathis1988
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Categories: Englisch = English
Keywords: Akkommodation = Accommodation, Amphibien = Amphibians, Sehvermögen = Visual Perception
Creators: Howland, Mathis, Schaeffel
Collection: Journal of Comparative Physiology A
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Aspects of visual optics were investigated in the American toad (Bufo americanus). The development of the refractive state of the eye during metamorphosis was followed with IR photoretinoscopy. Frozen sections documented the changes in optical parameters before and after metamorphosis. There is a difference in light sensitivity between juvenile and adult toads. Binocular accommodation in adult toads was observed.

1. IR photoretinoscopic measurements showed that the refractive state of the eye changed very rapidly during metamorphosis, about 10D/h while the animal entered the terrestrial habitat.

2. Frozen sections showed that the almost spherical lens in a tadpole eye had flattened in a just metamorphosed toad's eye while at the same time the distance of the lens to the retina had decreased. However, the morphological measurements were not sufficiently sensitive to record the relatively small changes in ocular dimensions that were responsible for the rapid changes in refractive state during metamorphosis.

3. Schematic eyes, with homogeneous and non homogeneous lenses, were constructed for tadpoles, juvenile toads, and adult toads.

4. Nonparaxial raytracing studies in schematic eyes suggested that the lenses of animals of the three developmental stages tadpole, juvenile toad, and adult are not homogeneous but have a refractive index gradient. The raytracing studies indicated that the refractive index gradient is different for the different developmental stages, being highest in the tadpole lens.

5. The observations of toads during feeding behavior at different light levels showed an increased light sensitivity in the adult nocturnal toads in contrast to the juvenile animals, which are diurnal. The increased light sensitivity could partly be explained with an increase in aperture and an increase in red rod outer segments. To fully explain the higher light sensitivity in adult toads, changes in neuronal parameters had to be assumed.

6. Retinoscopic measurements of the resting refractive state in the adult toad showed a hyperopic defocus of about +8D. By subtracting the measurement artefact for retinoscopy, the true resting focus was found to be nearly emmetropic.

7. The amount of natural accommodation in adult toads during normal feeding behavior was investigated with IR photoretinoscopy. Binocular accommodation of about 8D was observed.

Abbreviations D Diopter - IR infrared light - LED light emitting diode - ROS red rod outer segments - SF shape factor
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