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J Comp Physiol A. 2000 Jan;186(1):21-31.

Detection of object motion by a fly neuron during simulated flight.

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Lehrstuhl für Neurobiologie, Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Bielefeld, Germany.


Object detection on the basis of relative motion was investigated in the fly at the neuronal level. A representative of the figure detection cells (FD-cells), the FD1b-cell, was characterized with respect to its responses to optic flow which simulated the presence of an object during translatory flight. The figure detection cells reside in the fly's third visual neuropil and are believed to play a central role in mediating object-directed turning behaviour. The dynamical response properties as well as the mean response amplitudes of the FD1b-cell depend on the temporal frequency of object motion and on the presence or absence of background motion. The responses of the FD1b-cell to object motion during simulated translatory flight were compared to behavioural responses of the fly as obtained with identical stimuli in a previous study. The behavioural responses could only partly be explained on the basis of the FD1b-cell's responses. Further processing between the third visual neuropil and the final motor output has to be assumed which involves (1) facilitation of the object-induced responses during translatory background motion at moderate temporal frequencies, and (2) inhibition of the object-induced turning responses during translatory background motion at high temporal frequencies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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