Observing praying mantises in 3D glasses hanging topsy-turvey

One approach to try “to understand 3D vision in the praying mantis, the only invertebrate known to have this ability, and compare it with vision in humans” is to equip a mantis with specially-built tiny 3-D glasses, suspend the spectacles-clad mantis upside down from a post, and then monitor that mantis’s response to artificially created images that mimic the motion of other insects. Jenny ReedVivek Nityananda, and several of their colleagues at Newcastle University took exactly this approach. They blog about it. This video shows some of what they have done and found:

A Newcastle U press release offers further bits of detail about the mantis viewing viewing. Justin Scuiletti at PBS Newshour did a report about it.

Newcastle University is ever abuzz with stimulated and stimulating research about insect vision. The 2005 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Newcastle scientists Claire Rind and Peter Simmons for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie “Star Wars.” [Their work is documented in the study "Orthopteran DCMD Neuron: A Reevaluation of Responses to Moving Objects. I. Selective Responses to Approaching Objects," F.C. Rind and P.J. Simmons, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 68, no. 5, November 1992, pp. 1654-66.]

  • Keith Kovacs

    Darn. I was hoping to be the first to nominate these jokers for next years Ig Noble Awards. Not sure of the category though…

    Entomology? Consumer Engineering? Go Newcastle U! You guys are on a roll!