Fly Eyes Are Not Still: A Motion Illusion in Drosophila Flight Supports Parallel Visual Processing

April 30, 2020 | Biology

Reading time: 1 minute

First appearing on Journal of Experimental Biology, Lab.Equipment brings you this article to cover your everyday Bio industry news fix.

Wael Salem, Benjamin Cellini, Mark A. Frye, and Jean-Michel Mongeau

Most animals shift gaze by a ‘fixate and saccade’ strategy, where the fixation phase stabilizes background motion. A logical prerequisite for robust detection and tracking of moving foreground objects, therefore, is to suppress the perception of background motion. In a virtual reality magnetic tether system enabling free yaw movement, Drosophila implemented a fixate and saccade strategy in the presence of a static panorama. When the spatial wavelength of a vertical grating was below the Nyquist wavelength of the compound eyes, flies drifted continuously­ and gaze could not be maintained at a single location. Because the drift occurs from a motionless stimulus—thus any perceived motion stimuli are generated by the fly itself—it is illusory, driven by perceptual aliasing. Notably, the drift speed was significantly faster than under a uniform panorama suggesting perceptual enhancement due to aliasing. Under the same visual conditions in a rigid tether paradigm, wing steering responses to the unresolvable static panorama were not distinguishable from a resolvable static pattern, suggesting visual aliasing is induced by ego motion. We hypothesized that obstructing the control of gaze fixation also disrupts detection and tracking of objects. Using the illusory motion stimulus, we show that magnetically tethered Drosophila track objects robustly in flight even when gaze is not fixated as flies continuously drift. Taken together, our study provides further support for parallel visual motion processing and reveals the critical influence of body motion on visuomotor processing. Motion illusions can reveal important shared principles of information processing across taxa... Continue reading the entire article at the Journal of Experimental Biology Blog.

In the Biology industry and are canvassing for top quality Biology lab equipment to fulfill requirements of your facility? Go through Lab.Equipment’s selection of Bio equipment produced by well-recognized brands like:

Get versatile and robust Biology lab products available on Lab.Equipment including:

Dealing with other scientific or industrial applications? No need to worry. We have you covered. Go though our range of multipurpose lab equipment for veterinary, forensics, microbiology applications and more.

Back To Top
We are fully compliant with the GDPR laws. We promise to safeguard your data and protect your privacy rights.