Color and Movement

Science Signaling  22 May 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 225, pp. ec143
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003243

From humans to insects, color and motion information are thought to be channeled through separate neural pathways for efficient visual processing, but it remains unclear whether and how these pathways interact in improving perception of moving colored stimuli. Using sophisticated Drosophila genetics, intracellular electrophysiology, two-photon imaging, and behavioral experiments, Wardill et al. found that, early in the processing stage, color photoreceptors influence the motion pathway and that this input improves the flies’ optomotor performance in a flight simulator.

T. J. Wardill, O. List, X. Li, S. Dongre, M. McCulloch, C.-Y. Ting, C. J. O’Kane, S. Tang, C.-H. Lee, R. C. Hardie, M. Juusola, Multiple spectral inputs improve motion discrimination in the Drosophila visual system. Science 336, 925–931 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]