Home > Papers from 2014 > How might landmark information be encoded in the brain?

How might landmark information be encoded in the brain?

In recent years the field of insect navigation has benefited greatly from considering the information that is available in real world visual scenes. However we very little idea about how visual information (for navigation tasks) may be encoded in the brain. Over a series of papers the Bielefeld team have shown how motion cues might be used for visual guidance. Here they go into the brain and demonstrate that motion information from landmarks is encoded in the responses of wide field cells in the bee’s lobula. Movies of natural ‘bee’s eye’ scenes were created from recordings of the learning flights of bumblebees and a Virtual Reality reconstruction of the experimental set-up. The ‘bee-eye’ movies were played to tethered bees and recordings showed that proximal landmarks create a stable motion signature irrespective of the texture of the landmarks (i.e. even if they are camouflaged). Therefore these neurons provide a signal that could be used for view-based homing.

Mertes, M., Dittmar, L., Egelhaaf, M., & Boeddeker, N. (2014). Visual motion-sensitive neurons in the bumblebee brain convey information about landmarks during a navigational task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience8, 335.
Categories: Papers from 2014
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