Optometry Today: Jumping spiders lose vision when hungry

UC researchers show how nutrition affects vision

Optometry Today, the magazine of the Association of Optometrists, shared a study by University of Cincinnati biologists who studied the role nutrition plays in the vision of bold jumping spiders.

UC College of Arts and Sciences Professor Elke Buschbeck and her co-authors studied photoreceptors in the eyes of bold jumping spiders, tiny eight-legged predators found across North America. The little hunters rely on their keen vision to stalk prey.

But researchers found that underfed spiders begin to lose photoreceptors that give them such good eyesight. Their findings could improve our understanding of the role that nutrition plays in common age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration.

The study was published in the journal Vision Research.

“Photoreceptors are energetically costly. It’s hard to keep up with their energy needs. If you deprive them of nutrition, the system fails,” Buschbeck said.

Read the Optometry Today story.

Featured image at top: UC doctoral student Shubham Rathore uses a custom ophthalmoscope in Professor Elke Buschbeck's lab. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

More UC biology in the news

UC professor Elke Buschbeck and doctoral students Shubham Rathore and Annette Stowasser have designed a custom ophthalmoscope to study insect and spider vision.

UC Professor Elke Buschbeck studies the vision of insects and spiders in her lab. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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