Conjugate eye movements guide jumping locomotion in an avian species
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Many animals rely on vision to successfully locomote through their environments. However, our understanding of the interaction between vision and locomotion is surprisingly limited. This study therefore examined the visual mechanisms guiding jumping locomotion in an avian species. It recorded the eye movements of captive Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) as they jumped up onto and down from a perch. Peafowl shifted their eyes forward as they were jumping, increasing the degree of binocular overlap. Their eye movements were highly conjugate as they were jumping but were otherwise loosely conjugate. Finally, the peafowl rarely directed their gaze toward landing spots. These results suggest that eye movements play a central role in avian locomotion and they can vary depending on the specific locomotor task.
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