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Journal Article

Drosophila's view on insect vision


Borst,  A.
Department: Systems and Computational Neurobiology / Borst, MPI of Neurobiology, Max Planck Society;

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Borst, A. (2009). Drosophila's view on insect vision. Current Biology, 19(1), 36-47. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-20B9-D
Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.