Our current research is focused primarily on perception and learning in jumping spiders. Jumping spiders have eight eyes. The two principal eyes act like tiny telephoto lenses, while the secondary eyes have a wider range of view and are thought to act more like motion detectors. We are trying to understand what sort of visual information is gathered by each eye, and how that information is integrated together in the spider's tiny brain. Here are some papers that focus specifically on perception:
Spano, L., S. M. Long, and E. M. Jakob. In press. Secondary eyes mediate the response to looming objects in jumping spiders (Phidippus audax, Salticidae). Biology Letters.
Bednarski, J. V., P. Taylor, and E. M. Jakob. In press. Optical cues used in predation by jumping spiders, Phidippus audax (Araneae, Salticidae). Animal Behaviour.
Long, S. M., S. Lewis, L. Jean-Louis, G. Ramos, J. Richmond, and E. M. Jakob. 2011. Firefly flashing and jumping spider predation. Animal Behaviour 83:81-86.
Baker, L., E. Kelty, and E. Jakob. 2009. The effect of visual features on jumping spider movements across gaps. Journal of Insect Behavior 22:350-361.
Some of the tools we use include video images, which luckily spiders respond to as if they are real: