Skip to content

Polarisation signals: A new currency for communication

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Article number134213
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume222
Issue number3
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 7 Feb 2019

Abstract

Most polarisation vision studies reveal elegant examples of how
animals, mainly the invertebrates, use polarised light cues for
navigation, course-control or habitat selection. Within the past two decades it has been recognised that polarised light, reflected,
blocked or transmitted by some animal and plant tissues, may also provide signals that are received or sent between or within species. Much as animals use colour and colour signalling in behaviour and survival, other species additionally make use of polarisation signalling, or indeed may rely on polarisation-based signals instead. It is possible that the degree (or percentage) of polarisation provides a more reliable currency of information than the angle or orientation of the polarised light electric vector (e-vector). Alternatively, signals with specific e-vector angles may be important for some behaviours.
Mixed messages, making use of polarisation and colour signals, also exist. While our knowledge of the physics of polarised reflections and sensory systems has increased, the observational and behavioural biology side of the story needs more (and more careful) attention. This Review aims to critically examine recent ideas and findings, and suggests ways forward to reveal the use of light that we cannot see.

    Research areas

  • Polarised light, Signalling, Vision

Documents

Documents

  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Company of Biologists at http://jeb.biologists.org/content/222/3/jeb134213. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 6 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 7/02/20

    Request copy

  • Supplementary information PDF

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Company of Biologists at http://jeb.biologists.org/content/222/3/jeb134213. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 816 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 7/02/20

    Request copy

DOI

View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups