acta ethologica

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 15–27 | Cite as

Some comments on visual perception and the use of video playback in animal behavior studies

  • L. J. Fleishman
  • J. A. Endler


Video playback experiments are potentially powerful tools in behavioral research. A video screen mimics natural color, brightness, texture, and motion to humans (for which it was designed) because monitors stimulate human photoreceptors in approximately the same relative proportions as the stimuli that they mimic. Because most animals have vision that is very different from that of humans their cones may be stimulated very differently from ours, and an image that looks excellent to us may be unrecognizable to them, and vice versa. In this article we summarize how the simulation of a monitor works and the ways it can go wrong, using a bird and a fish model retina as examples. Finally we make some recommendations for minimizing some of these problems.

Key words Video playback Color vision Behavioral experiments 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and ISPA 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Fleishman
    • 1
  • J. A. Endler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308-2311, USA e-mail: Tel.: +1 518-388-6332, Fax: +1 518-388-6429US
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USAUS

Personalised recommendations