Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information

Kern R, Boeddeker N, Dittmar L, Egelhaaf M (2012)
Journal of Experimental Biology 215(14): 2501-2514.

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Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
Blowfly flight consists of two main components, saccadic turns and intervals of mostly straight gaze direction, although, as a consequence of inertia, flight trajectories usually change direction smoothly. We investigated how flight behavior changes depending on the surroundings and how saccadic turns and intersaccadic translational movements might be controlled in arenas of different width with and without obstacles. Blowflies do not fly in straight trajectories, even when traversing straight flight arenas; rather, they fly in meandering trajectories. Flight speed and the amplitude of meanders increase with arena width. Although saccade duration is largely constant, peak angular velocity and succession into either direction are variable and depend on the visual surroundings. Saccade rate and amplitude also vary with arena layout and are correlated with the 'time-to-contact' to the arena wall. We provide evidence that both saccade and velocity control rely to a large extent on the intersaccadic optic flow generated in eye regions looking well in front of the fly, rather than in the lateral visual field, where the optic flow at least during forward flight tends to be strongest.
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Kern R, Boeddeker N, Dittmar L, Egelhaaf M. Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2012;215(14):2501-2514.
Kern, R., Boeddeker, N., Dittmar, L., & Egelhaaf, M. (2012). Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(14), 2501-2514.
Kern, R., Boeddeker, N., Dittmar, L., and Egelhaaf, M. (2012). Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information. Journal of Experimental Biology 215, 2501-2514.
Kern, R., et al., 2012. Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(14), p 2501-2514.
R. Kern, et al., “Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information”, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 215, 2012, pp. 2501-2514.
Kern, R., Boeddeker, N., Dittmar, L., Egelhaaf, M.: Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215, 2501-2514 (2012).
Kern, Roland, Boeddeker, Norbert, Dittmar, Laura, and Egelhaaf, Martin. “Blowfly flight characteristics are shaped by environmental features and controlled by optic flow information”. Journal of Experimental Biology 215.14 (2012): 2501-2514.
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11 Citations in Europe PMC

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Egelhaaf M, Boeddeker N, Kern R, Kurtz R, Lindemann JP., Front Neural Circuits 6(), 2012
PMID: 23269913

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