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Journal Article

Task-specific association of photoreceptor systems and steering parameters in Drosophila

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84975

Strauss,  R
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84662

Götz,  KG
Neurophysiologie des Insektenverhaltens, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84168

Renner,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Strauss, R., Götz, K., & Renner, M. (2001). Task-specific association of photoreceptor systems and steering parameters in Drosophila. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 187, 617-632.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-E1F4-C
Abstract
Visual motion processing enables moving fruit flies to stabilize their course and altitude and to approach selected objects. Earlier attempts to identify task-specific pathways between two photoreceptor systems (R1-6, R7+8) and three steering parameters (wingstroke asymmetry, abdomen deflection, hindleg deflection) attributed course control and object fixation to R1-6 mediated simultaneous reactions of these parameters. The present investigation includes first results from fixed flying or freely walking ninaE17 mutants which cannot synthesize the R1-6 photoreceptor-specific opsin. Retention of about 12 percent of the normal course control and about 58 percent of the object fixation in these flies suggests partial input sharing for both responses and, possibly, a specialization for large-field (R1-6) and small-field (R7+8) motion. Such signals must be combined to perceive relative motion between an object and its background. The combining links found in larger species might explain a previously neglected interdependence of course control and object fixation in Drosophila. Output decomposition revealed an unexpected orchestration of steering. Wingstroke asymmetry and abdomen deflection do not contribute in fixed proportions to the yaw torque of the flight system. Different steering modes seem to be selected according to their actual efficiency under closed-loop conditions and to the degree of intended turning. An easy experimental access to abdominal steering is introduced.