Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 141–149 | Cite as

Visual processing of moving single objects and wide-field patterns in flies: Behavioural analysis after laser-surgical removal of interneurons

  • Gad Geiger
  • Dick R. Nässel


A laser micro-beam unit was used to reproducibly and selectively eliminate the large horizontal and vertical motion sensitive neurons (H- and V-cells) of the lobula plate on one side of the brain of house fliesMusca domestica. This was achieved by ablating the precursors of these cells deep in the larval brain without damaging other cells in the brain or other tissues. The individually reared flies were tested for their behaviour. Three tests were performed: (i) visual fixation of a single stripe, (ii) the optomotor turning and thrust response to a stripe moving clockwise and counterclockwise around the fly, (iii) the monocular turning response to a moving grating. The responses to a moving single object were normal on both sides, the control side and the one lacking the H- and V-cells. However, the responses to a moving grating were reduced on the side lacking H- and V-cells for progressive (front to back) and regressive (back to front) motion. From this we conclude that the response to single objects is controlled mainly by cells other than the H- and V-cells. We also suggest two separate pathways for the processing of single object motion and wide field pattern motion respectively (Fig. 8). Furthermore, the H- and V-cells might function as visual stabilizers and background motion processors.


Vertical Motion Visual Processing Single Object Object Motion Behavioural Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gad Geiger
    • 1
  • Dick R. Nässel
    • 1
  1. 1.European Molecular Biology LaboratoryHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

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