Brightness discrimination in the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The brightness discrimination ability of a mate harbor seal was investigated at an ambient illumination of 0.9 lx. The visual stimuli consisted of circular gray discs that were presented on a black background on a TFT monitor. Eight standard intensities were tested against sets of lower comparison intensities. In accordance with Weber's law we observed a constant gain of the just noticeable intensity difference with increasing intensity of the standard stimulus. The calculated Weber fraction is 0.14. This result indicates that the brightness discrimination ability of the harbor seal is comparable to that of humans.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology


  • brightness discrimination, harbor seal, animal psychophysics, contrast
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
JournalVision Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch