Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets

Kress D, Egelhaaf M (2014)
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8.

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Abstract
During locomotion animals rely heavily on visual cues gained from the environment to guide their behavior. Examples are basic behaviors like collision avoidance or the approach to a goal. The saccadic gaze strategy of flying flies, which separates translational from rotational phases of locomotion, has been suggested to facilitate the extraction of environmental information, because only image flow evoked by translational self-motion contains relevant distance information about the surrounding world. In contrast to the translational phases of flight during which gaze direction is kept largely constant, walking flies experience continuous rotational image flow that is coupled to their stride-cycle. The consequences of these self-produced image shifts for the extraction of environmental information are still unclear. To assess the impact of stride-coupled image shifts on visual information processing, we performed electrophysiological recordings from the HSE cell, a motion sensitive wide-field neuron in the blowfly visual system. This cell has been concluded to play a key role in mediating optomotor behavior, self-motion estimation and spatial information processing. We used visual stimuli that were based on the visual input experienced by walking blowflies while approaching a black vertical bar. The response of HSE to these stimuli was dominated by periodic membrane potential fluctuations evoked by stride-coupled image shifts. Nevertheless, during the approach the cell’s response contained information about the bar and its background. The response components evoked by the bar were larger than the responses to its background, especially during the last phase of the approach. However, as revealed by targeted modifications of the visual input during walking, the extraction of distance information on the basis of HSE responses is much impaired by stride-coupled retinal image shifts. Possible mechanisms that may cope with these stride-coupled responses are discussed.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Kress D, Egelhaaf M. Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2014;8.
Kress, D., & Egelhaaf, M. (2014). Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8.
Kress, D., and Egelhaaf, M. (2014). Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8.
Kress, D., & Egelhaaf, M., 2014. Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8.
D. Kress and M. Egelhaaf, “Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets”, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 8, 2014.
Kress, D., Egelhaaf, M.: Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8, (2014).
Kress, Daniel, and Egelhaaf, Martin. “Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets”. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8 (2014).
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Saccadic body turns in walking Drosophila.
Geurten BR, Jahde P, Corthals K, Gopfert MC., Front Behav Neurosci 8(), 2014
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