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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Dec;14(6):729-36.

Closing the loop between neurobiology and flight behavior in Drosophila.

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Department of Physiological Science, University of California, 621 Charles E. Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606, USA.


Fruit flies alter flight direction by generating rapid stereotyped turns called saccades. Using a combination of tethered and free-flight methods, both the aerodynamic mechanisms and the sensory triggers for saccades have been investigated. The results indicate that saccades are elicited by visual expansion, and are brought about by remarkably subtle changes in wing motion. Mechanosensory feedback from the fly's 'gyroscope' complements visual cues to terminate saccades, as well as to stabilize forward flight. Olfactory stimuli elicit tonic increases in wingbeat amplitude and frequency but do not alter the time course or magnitude of visual reflexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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