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Type: Journal article
Title: Photoreceptor signalling is sufficient to explain the detectability threshold of insect aerial pursuers
Author: Rigosi, E.
Wiederman, S.
O'Carroll, D.
Citation: The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2017; 220(23):4364-4369
Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0022-0949
Statement of
Elisa Rigosi, Steven D. Wiederman and David C. O'Carroll
Abstract: An essential biological task for many flying insects is the detection of small, moving targets, such as when pursuing prey or conspecifics. Neural pathways underlying such 'target-detecting' behaviours have been investigated for their sensitivity and tuning properties (size, velocity). However, which stage of neuronal processing limits target detection is not yet known. Here, we investigated several skilled, aerial pursuers (males of four insect species), measuring the target-detection limit (signal-to-noise ratio) of light-adapted photoreceptors. We recorded intracellular responses to moving targets of varying size, extended well below the nominal resolution of single ommatidia. We found that the signal detection limit (2× photoreceptor noise) matches physiological or behavioural target-detection thresholds observed in each species. Thus, across a diverse range of flying insects, individual photoreceptor responses to changes in light intensity establish the sensitivity of the feature detection pathway, indicating later stages of processing are dedicated to feature tuning, tracking and selection.
Keywords: Target detection; vision; contrast sensitivity; retina; signal-to-noise ratio; feature detection
Rights: © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
DOI: 10.1242/jeb.166207
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
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