Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Photograph courtesy Queesland Brain Institute
Mollusks such as nautiluses—pictured in the deep Coral Sea in a photo released this week—evolved eyes long before humans did, said the Deep Australia Project's leader, Justin Marshall.
(Related: "Eyeless Urchins 'See' With Spines.")
But oddly, "their eyes lack a lens and therefore operate like a pinhole camera. How is information processed to the brain?"
Peering into the eyes of nautiluses, which haven't changed in millions of years, could answer that question, as well as tell us much about our own brains, Marshall said.
For instance, the research could help scientists understand brain disorders that lead to conditions such as epilepsy, he said.
The Deep Australia Project's cameras can be programmed to record at specific times, or can run continuously for 72 hours.
Future models will feature motion-sensitive triggers, according to project leader Justin Marshall.