Dissection of the Peripheral Motion Channel in the Visual System of Drosophila melanogaster

Jens Rister, Dennis Pauls, Bettina Schnell, Chun Yuan Ting, Chi Hon Lee, Irina Sinakevitch, Javier Morante, Nicholas J. Strausfeld, Kei Ito, Martin Heisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


In the eye, visual information is segregated into modalities such as color and motion, these being transferred to the central brain through separate channels. Here, we genetically dissect the achromatic motion channel in the fly Drosophila melanogaster at the level of the first relay station in the brain, the lamina, where it is split into four parallel pathways (L1-L3, amc/T1). The functional relevance of this divergence is little understood. We now show that the two most prominent pathways, L1 and L2, together are necessary and largely sufficient for motion-dependent behavior. At high pattern contrast, the two pathways are redundant. At intermediate contrast, they mediate motion stimuli of opposite polarity, L2 front-to-back, L1 back-to-front motion. At low contrast, L1 and L2 depend upon each other for motion processing. Of the two minor pathways, amc/T1 specifically enhances the L1 pathway at intermediate contrast. L3 appears not to contribute to motion but to orientation behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 4 2007



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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