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Sexual dimorphism in the hoverfly motion vision pathway.
(Motion Vision)
The University of Adelaide.
The University of Adelaide.
The University of Adelaide.
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2008 (English)In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822, E-ISSN 1879-0445, Vol. 18, no 9, 661-667 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many insects perform high-speed aerial maneuvers in which they navigate through visually complex surrounds. Among insects, hoverflies stand out, with males switching from stationary hovering to high-speed pursuit at extreme angular velocities [1]. In dipterans, 50-60 large interneurons -- the lobula-plate tangential cells (LPTCs) -- detect changes in optic flow experienced during flight [2-5]. It has been predicted that large LPTC receptive fields are a requirement of accurate "matched filters" of optic flow [6]. Whereas many fly taxa have three horizontal system (HS) LPTC neurons in each hemisphere, hoverflies have four [7], possibly reflecting the more sophisticated flight behavior. We here show that the most dorsal hoverfly neuron (HS north [HSN]) is sexually dimorphic, with the male receptive field substantially smaller than in females or in either sex of blowflies. The (hoverfly-specific) HSN equatorial (HSNE) is, however, sexually isomorphic. Using complex optic flow, we show that HSN, despite its smaller receptive field, codes yaw velocity as well as HSNE. Responses to a target moving against a plain or textured background suggest that the male HSN could potentially play a role in target pursuit under some conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 18, no 9, 661-667 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-148126DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.03.061ISI: 000255668400026PubMedID: 18450449OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-148126DiVA: diva2:401380
Available from: 2011-03-02 Created: 2011-03-02 Last updated: 2012-09-25

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Nordström, Karin
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