Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly

Liang P, Heitwerth J, Kern R, Kurtz R, Egelhaaf M (2012)
Journal of Neurophysiology 107(12): 3446-3457.

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Abstract
Three motion-sensitive key elements of a neural circuit, presumably involved in processing object and distance information, were analyzed with optic flow sequences as experienced by blowflies in a three-dimensional environment. This optic flow is largely shaped by the blowfly's saccadic flight and gaze strategy, which separates translational flight segments from fast saccadic rotations. By modifying this naturalistic optic flow, all three analyzed neurons could be shown to respond during the intersaccadic intervals not only to nearby objects but also to changes in the distance to background structures. In the presence of strong background motion, the three types of neuron differ in their sensitivity for object motion. Object-induced response increments are largest in FD1, a neuron long known to respond better to moving objects than to spatially extended motion patterns, but weakest in VCH, a neuron that integrates wide-field motion from both eyes and, by inhibiting the FD1 cell, is responsible for its object preference. Small but significant object-induced response increments are present in HS cells, which serve both as a major input neuron of VCH and as output neurons of the visual system. In both HS and FD1, intersaccadic background responses decrease with increasing distance to the animal, although much more prominently in FD1. This strong dependence of FD1 on background distance is concluded to be the consequence of the activity of VCH that dramatically increases its activity and, thus, its inhibitory strength with increasing distance.
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Liang P, Heitwerth J, Kern R, Kurtz R, Egelhaaf M. Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2012;107(12):3446-3457.
Liang, P., Heitwerth, J., Kern, R., Kurtz, R., & Egelhaaf, M. (2012). Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107(12), 3446-3457.
Liang, P., Heitwerth, J., Kern, R., Kurtz, R., and Egelhaaf, M. (2012). Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly. Journal of Neurophysiology 107, 3446-3457.
Liang, P., et al., 2012. Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107(12), p 3446-3457.
P. Liang, et al., “Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly”, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 107, 2012, pp. 3446-3457.
Liang, P., Heitwerth, J., Kern, R., Kurtz, R., Egelhaaf, M.: Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly. Journal of Neurophysiology. 107, 3446-3457 (2012).
Liang, Pei, Heitwerth, Jochen, Kern, Roland, Kurtz, Rafael, and Egelhaaf, Martin. “Object representation and distance encoding in three-dimensional environments by a neural circuit in the visual system of the blowfly”. Journal of Neurophysiology 107.12 (2012): 3446-3457.
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