Novel Flicker-Sensitive Visual Circuit Neurons Inhibited by Stationary Patterns

Roel de Haan, Yu-Jen Lee, Karin Nordstrom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Many animals use visual motion cues for navigating within their surroundings. Both flies and vertebrates compute local motion by temporal correlation of neighboring photoreceptors, via so-called elementary motion detectors (EMDs). In the fly lobula plate and the vertebrate visual cortex the output from many EMDs is pooled in neurons sensitive to wide-field optic flow. Although the EMD has been the preferred model for more than 50 years, recent work has highlighted its limitations in describing some visual behaviors, such as responses to higher-order motion stimuli. Non-EMD motion processing may therefore serve an important function in vision. Here, we describe a novel neuron class in the fly lobula plate that clearly does not derive its input from classic EMDs. The centrifugal stationary inhibited flicker excited (cSIFE) neuron is strongly excited by flicker, up to very high temporal frequencies. The non-EMD driven flicker sensitivity leads to strong, nondirectional responses to high-speed, wide-field motion. Furthermore, cSIFE is strongly inhibited by stationary patterns, within a narrow wavelength band. cSIFE's outputs overlap with the inputs of well described optic flow-sensitive lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs). Driving cSIFE affects the active dendrites of LPTCs, and cSIFE may therefore play a large role in motion vision.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8980-8989
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Neuroscience
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2013


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