Visual lateralization is task and age dependent in cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis

Christelle Jozet-Alves, Vincent A. Viblanc, Sebastien Romagny, Matthieu Dacher, Susan D. Healy, Ludovic Dickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The behavioural lateralization observed in several invertebrate species appears to parallel the phenomenon seen in vertebrates. However, it is not yet clear whether lateralization in invertebrates varies within an individual across development as it does in vertebrates. We examined when during postembryonic development juvenile cuttlefish begin to show side-turning preferences in a T-shaped apparatus. We also determined whether or not the direction of turning was stimulus dependent by providing, or not providing, shelters in the two choice arms of the apparatus. We found that as the animals aged from 3 to 45 days posthatch they progressively developed a left-turning bias but only when shelters were provided in the apparatus. We suggest that left-turning biases in cuttlefish result from an eye use preference. Emergence of visual lateralization at the time of dispersal may afford juveniles greater behavioural efficiency by enabling them to look out for escape routes while hunting. The left visual field may be associated with rapid responses as in many species of vertebrates. Determining the role of the right visual field of cuttlefish when looking for prey may provide evidence for homology between lateralization in invertebrates and vertebrates. (c) 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1318
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual lateralization is task and age dependent in cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this