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Journal Article

Dynamic properties of two control systems underlying visually guided turning in house-flies

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Egelhaaf,  M
Former Department Information Processing in Insects, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Egelhaaf, M. (1987). Dynamic properties of two control systems underlying visually guided turning in house-flies. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 161(6), 777-783. doi:10.1007/BF00610219.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-4A11-4
Abstract
The compensatory optomotor turning reaction as well as the turning response towards objects play an important role in visual orientation. On the basis of behavioural experiments under precisely defined stimulus conditions it is concluded that in female house-flies these motion-dependent responses are mediated by two parallel control systems with different dynamic and spatial integration properties. One of them (‘large-field system’) is most sensitive to the motion of large textured patterns and controls the yaw torque mainly at low oscillation frequencies (below 0.1 Hz) of the stimulus panorama. In contrast, the other control system (‘small-field system’) is tuned to the detection of relatively small moving patterns and shows its strongest responses at high oscillation frequencies (between 1 and 4 Hz), i.e. in a frequency range where the large-field system contributes to the turning response with only a relatively small gain. In free flight, house-flies do not curve smoothly but in sequences of rapid turns which induce retinal large-field motion of continually changing sign (Wagner 1986b). The dynamic properties of the large-field system might thus be interpreted as a simple strategy to almost eliminate the unwanted optomotor yaw torque induced by active self-motion. In contrast, the small-field system might still be operational under these conditions.