Praying Mantises in 3-D Glasses



I've always thought praying mantises were kind of cool. But a praying mantis in 3-D shades is ultracool. Even cooler is that the glasses may help give neuroscientist researchers information that could outfit robots with 3-D vision. 

The head of Newcastle University’s project, Dr. Jenny Read from the university’s Institute of Neuroscience, explained the choice of praying mantises for this exploratory work:

“They’re the only invertebrate that we know have 3D vision... the great attraction of an insect is it’s a much simpler system.” 

The research team is using human-sized 3-D glasses, similar to those used in movie theaters, and cutting mantis-sized lenses out of them. Beeswax is used to attach the glasses in place over the insects' eyes. Then it's time for some mantis movies! One feature is an action flick in which a dot moves on the screen, mimicking the movement of a bug. The scientists then record the mantises' “strike” responses. Learn more about the experimentation by viewing the video below. Via Unique Daily.



Video and Image Credit: Newcastle University


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Depends a lot on the monitor and fluorescent light bulb. Older fluorescent light bulbs with a magnetic ballast will flicker at 120 Hz, while ones with an electronic ballast will be at 10+ kHz. LCD monitors use pulse width modulation to dim the backlight, and this can be kind of crappily done in some cheap models, and is more noticeable to even humans if it has an LED backlight.

I can't imagine the trouble that someone researching animal senses can get into with so much stuff, audio and visual, designed around human limits. Even with stuff made to work for timing and parts of the spectrum relevant to the animal, without careful checking it could be hard to miss if something breaks or goes wrong, or there is a chance the original measurements on their sensory range missed something.
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Insects are able to see things much faster than we do. A fluorescent light is supposed to appear to an insect as a blinking light, since they flash at 60 cycles per second. A CRT television, then, would appear as a blinking light scanning across the screen, tracking from top to bottom, then starting again from the top, but offset by one line. I would think that this test can only work with modern LCD monitors, and would fail with a CRT.
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