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Optomotor control of the force of flight in Drosophila and Musca. I. Homology of wingbeat-inhibiting movement detectors

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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/persons84306

Wehrhahn,  C
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Götz, K., & Wehrhahn, C. (1984). Optomotor control of the force of flight in Drosophila and Musca. I. Homology of wingbeat-inhibiting movement detectors. Biological Cybernetics, 51(2), 129-134. doi:10.1007/BF00357926.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-F02F-F
Abstract
Specialized networks of movement detectors in the antero-inferior field of the eyes of the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the housefly, Musca domestica, respond to upward (or downward) drift of the retinal images by excitation (or inhibition) of the lift-generating force of flight. The influence of the direction of pattern movement upon the altitude control response has been investigated under conditions of fixed flight in still air. Matched model analysis of the available response curves suggests the predominance of unidirectional movement detectors in these networks. Homologous wingbeat-inhibiting detectors in the specified fields of the eyes of the two species respond preferentially to pattern movement from antero-superior to postero-inferior. The arrangement of wingbeat-exciting detectors seems to follow different schemes: These detectors respond preferentially to movement from inferior to superior in Drosophila, and to movement from antero-inferior to postero-superior in Musca. The wingbeat-exciting network in Musca is restricted to a comparatively small antero-equatorial area of the specified fields of the eyes. The combination of the two types of detectors in this area establishes a powerful lift control system which is particularly sensitive to minute deviations from a given level of flight.