Neurobiology of polarization vision in the locust Schistocerca gregaria

Homberg, U. and Hofer, Sabine and Mappes, Martina and Vitzthum, H. and Pfeiffer, K. and Gebhardt, S. and Müller, Monika and Paech, Agnes (2004) Neurobiology of polarization vision in the locust Schistocerca gregaria. Acta Biologica Hungarica, 55 (1-4). pp. 81-89. ISSN 0236-5383

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The polarization pattern of the blue sky serves as an important reference for spatial orientation in insects. To understand the neural mechanisms involved in sky compass orientation we have analyzed the polarization vision system in the locust Schistocercagregaria. As in other insects, photoreceptors adapted for the detection of sky polarization are concentrated in a dorsal rim area (DRA) of the compound eye. Stationary flying locusts show polarotactic yaw-torque responses when illuminated through a rotating polarizer from above. This response is abolished after painting the DRAs. Central stages of the polarization vision system, revealed through tracing studies, include dorsal areas in the lamina and medulla, the anterior lobe of the lobula, the anterior optic tubercle, the lateral accessory lobe, and the central complex. Physiological analysis of polarization-sensitive (POL) neurons has focussed on the optic tubercle and on the central complex. Each POL neuron was maximally excited at a certain e-vector (F<sub>max</sub>) and was maximally inhibited at an e-vector perpendicular to F<sub>max</sub>. The neurons had large visual fields, and many neurons received input from both eyes. The neuronal organization of the central complex suggests a role as an spatial compass within the locust brain.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz
Depositing User: Endre Sarvay
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 16:03
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 16:03

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