Visual and motor signatures of locomotion dynamically shape a population code for feature detection in Drosophila.
Natural vision is dynamic: as an animal moves, its visual input changes dramatically. How can the visual system reliably extract local features from an input dominated by self-generated signals? In Drosophila, diverse local visual features are represented by a group of projection neurons with distinct tuning properties. Here we describe a connectome-based volumetric imaging strategy to measure visually evoked neural activity across this population. We show that local visual features are jointly represented across the population, and that a shared gain factor improves trial-to-trial coding fidelity. A subset of these neurons, tuned to small objects, is modulated by two independent signals associated with self-movement, a motor-related signal and a visual motion signal associated with rotation of the animal. These two inputs adjust the sensitivity of these feature detectors across the locomotor cycle, selectively reducing their gain during saccades and restoring it during intersaccadic intervals. This work reveals a strategy for reliable feature detection during locomotion.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.82587
View details for PubMedID 36300621
The evolutionary trajectory of drosophilid walking.
Current biology : CB
Neural circuits must both execute the behavioral repertoire of individuals and account for behavioral variation across species. Understanding how this variation emerges over evolutionary time requires large-scale phylogenetic comparisons of behavioral repertoires. Here, we describe the evolution of walking in fruit flies by capturing high-resolution, unconstrained movement from 13 species and 15 strains of drosophilids. We find that walking can be captured in a universal behavior space, the structure of which is evolutionarily conserved. However, the occurrence of and transitions between specific movements have evolved rapidly, resulting in repeated convergent evolution in the temporal structure of locomotion. Moreover, a meta-analysis demonstrates that many behaviors evolve more rapidly than other traits. Thus, the architecture and physiology of locomotor circuits can execute precise individual movements in one species and simultaneously support rapid evolutionary changes in the temporal ordering of these modular elements across clades.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2022.05.039
View details for PubMedID 35671756
Illumination discrimination in the absence of a fixed surface-reflectance layout
JOURNAL OF VISION
2018; 18 (5)
View details for DOI 10.1167/18.5.11
View details for Web of Science ID 000432664100005
Illumination discrimination in the absence of a fixed surface-reflectance layout.
Journal of vision
2018; 18 (5): 11
Previous studies have shown that humans can discriminate spectral changes in illumination and that this sensitivity depends both on the chromatic direction of the illumination change and on the ensemble of surfaces in the scene. These studies, however, always used stimulus scenes with a fixed surface-reflectance layout. Here we compared illumination discrimination for scenes in which the surface reflectance layout remains fixed (fixed-surfaces condition) to those in which surface reflectances were shuffled randomly across scenes, but with the mean scene reflectance held approximately constant (shuffled-surfaces condition). Illumination discrimination thresholds in the fixed-surfaces condition were commensurate with previous reports. Thresholds in the shuffled-surfaces condition, however, were considerably elevated. Nonetheless, performance in the shuffled-surfaces condition exceeded that attainable through random guessing. Analysis of eye fixations revealed that in the fixed-surfaces condition, low illumination discrimination thresholds (across observers) were predicted by low overall fixation spread and high consistency of fixation location and fixated surface reflectances across trial intervals. Performance in the shuffled-surfaces condition was not systematically related to any of the eye-fixation characteristics we examined for that condition, but was correlated with performance in the fixed-surfaces condition.
View details for DOI 10.1167/18.5.11
View details for PubMedID 29904786
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5962298
Illumination discrimination in real and simulated scenes
JOURNAL OF VISION
2016; 16 (11): 2
Characterizing humans' ability to discriminate changes in illumination provides information about the visual system's representation of the distal stimulus. We have previously shown that humans are able to discriminate illumination changes and that sensitivity to such changes depends on their chromatic direction. Probing illumination discrimination further would be facilitated by the use of computer-graphics simulations, which would, in practice, enable a wider range of stimulus manipulations. There is no a priori guarantee, however, that results obtained with simulated scenes generalize to real illuminated scenes. To investigate this question, we measured illumination discrimination in real and simulated scenes that were well-matched in mean chromaticity and scene geometry. Illumination discrimination thresholds were essentially identical for the two stimulus types. As in our previous work, these thresholds varied with illumination change direction. We exploited the flexibility offered by the use of graphics simulations to investigate whether the differences across direction are preserved when the surfaces in the scene are varied. We show that varying the scene's surface ensemble in a manner that also changes mean scene chromaticity modulates the relative sensitivity to illumination changes along different chromatic directions. Thus, any characterization of sensitivity to changes in illumination must be defined relative to the set of surfaces in the scene.
View details for DOI 10.1167/16.11.2
View details for Web of Science ID 000385756900002
View details for PubMedID 28558392
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5024666