Brittle stars are covered in protective outer plates, but they also have another structure of internal plates. A particular species of brittle star seems to be able to use these internal plates for vision: it reacts to visual stimuli, like the presence of a predator or a safe place to hide.

Scientists hope we can improve existing technology and invent new technology by understanding how the brittle star uses these calcite lenses.

 

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References:

Burgess, Daniel S. (2014). Brittle Star Features Calcite Lenses. Photonics Media. Photonics Media, 10 Jan.

Ye, Xiaozhou, Fei Zhang, Yurong Ma, and Limin Qi. (2014). Brittlestar-Inspired Microlens Arrays Made of Calcite Single Crystals. Small. 1677-682.

Roach, John. (2001). Brittle Star Found Covered With Optically Advanced “Eyes”. National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 22 Aug. 2001.

Kayleen Schreiber

Kayleen is obsessed with the brain. After majoring in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, she went straight to a PhD program in neuroscience at the University of Iowa. She currently studies how our brains process speech. She measures electrical changes produced by the brain to understand how the gender of a person talking influences how we hear their speech. Outside the lab, she works to get others excited about science and occasionally plays the bassoon.

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Kayleen Schreiber

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Kayleen is obsessed with the brain. After majoring in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, she went straight to a PhD program in neuroscience at the University of Iowa. She currently studies how our brains process speech. She measures electrical changes produced by the brain to understand how the gender of a person talking influences how we hear their speech. Outside the lab, she works to get others excited about science and occasionally plays the bassoon.

One Comment

  1. The eye is just one organ and the links that it controls or that it is controlled by is just a part of the whole object oriented network schema we call humanity.. The eye is an essential organ of situation awareness but intelligence seems to be a derivative of wiring diagrams(structures) and of methods and procedures applied to them ? Did I miss something..

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