Conservation of "magnocellular" neurons of the dipteran optomotor pathway: Evolutionary and functional implications
AdvisorStrausfeld, Nicholas J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn Diptera, small-field retinotopic neurons supply achromatic motion sensitive neurons in the lobula plate, a region thought to control stabilization of yaw, pitch, and roll during flight. If different body shapes, and the flight performance associated with them, place specific demands on the design of control pathways, it might be expected that flies with long bodies and high aerodynamic pitch stability would show specific differences in the organization of such magnocellular achromatic networks. Striking differences emerge in the comparison of 9 species. Tipulids and culicids possess small non-stratified lobula plates, containing only 2-3 large diameter neurons. In syrphids, all VS cells have wide diameters and overlapping fields covering 2-3 times more of the mosaic than those of calliphorids. In asilids (robber flies) vertical cells cannot be identified. Despite these differences, we observe a conserved relationship between terminals of lamina afferents with neurons in the medulla.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology