To survive and pass on their genes, animals must perform many tasks that affect their fitness, such as mate-choice, foraging, and predator avoidance. The ability to make rapid decisions is dependent on the information that needs to be sampled from the environment and how it is processed. We highlight the need to consider visual attention within sensory ecology and advocate the use of eye-tracking methods to better understand how animals prioritise the sampling of information from their environments prior to making a goal-directed decision. We consider ways in which eye-tracking can be used to determine how animals work within attentional constraints and how environmental pressures may exploit these limitations.

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Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Department of Biology

Billington, J. (J.), Webster, R.J. (R. J.), Sherratt, T, Wilkie, R.M. (R. M.), & Hassall, C. (C.). (2020). The (Under)Use of Eye-Tracking in Evolutionary Ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2020.01.003