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The effect of the spacing of background elements upon optomotor memory responses in the crab: the influence of adding or deleting features during darkness
R. Hirsh, C. A. Wiersma


1. Study was made of the effect of separation between stripes in the visual field upon responses which indicate memory of those stripes. 2. The amount of separation between white stripes had very little effect, whereas response strength and the amount of separation between black stripes were directly proportional. 3. The presence of extra, non-displaced black stripes prior to or following displacement reduced the size of the memory responses. 4. The effects of the amount of separation in the two cases were comparable. In both situations the separation affected only the responses to displacement of the stripe borders nearest to the extra stripe. 5. The effect of extra stripes present prior to displacement was in turn affected by the duration of the dark period, whilst the effect of those present during the post-displacement period was not. This accounts for the larger effect of extra stripes present during the psot-displacement period. 6. By expanding stripe width during darkness it was possible to distinguish between the effects of distance between stripes and the amount of white space separating them. Reducing white space while distance remains constant causes reductions in response strength, whereas reducing the distance between a memory zone and the white space between it and the neighboring stripe increased the size of the memory response.