DOI: 10.1101/496588Dec 18, 2018Paper

Differential adaptation to visual motion allows robust encoding of optic flow in the dragonfly

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Bernard J E EvansSteven D Wiederman


An important task for any aerial creature is the ability to ascertain their own movement (ego-motion) through their environment. Neurons thought to underlie this behaviour have been well-characterised in many insect models including flies, moths and bees. However, dragonfly wide-field motion pathways remain undescribed. Some species of Dragonflies, such as Hemicordulia tau, engage in hawking behaviour, hovering in a single area for extended periods of time whilst also engaging in fast-moving patrols and highly dynamic pursuits of prey and conspecifics. These varied flight behaviours place very different constraints on establishing ego-motion from optic flow cues hinting at a sophisticated wide-field motion analysis system capable of detecting both fast and slow motion. We characterised wide-field motion sensitive neurons via intracellular recordings in Hemicordulia dragonflies finding similar properties to those found in other species. We found that the spatial and temporal tuning properties of these neurons were broadly similar but differed significantly in their adaptation to sustained motion. We categorised a total of three different subclasses, finding differences between subclasses in their motion adaptation and response t...Continue Reading

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