Octopaminergic modulation of contrast sensitivity

Roel de Haan, Yu-Jen Lee, Karin Nordstrom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Sensory systems adapt to prolonged stimulation by decreasing their response to continuous stimuli. Whereas visual motion adaptation has traditionally been studied in immobilized animals, recent work indicates that the animal's behavioral state influences the response properties of higher-order motion vision-sensitive neurons. During insect flight octopamine is released, and pharmacological octopaminergic activation can induce a fictive locomotor state. In the insect optic ganglia, lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) spatially pool input from local elementary motion detectors (EMDs) that correlate luminosity changes from two spatially discrete inputs after delaying the signal from one. The LPTC velocity optimum thereby depends on the spatial separation of the inputs and on the EMD's delay properties. Recently it was shown that behavioral activity increases the LPTC velocity optimum, with modeling suggesting this to originate in the EMD's temporal delay filters. However, behavior induces an additional post-EMD effect: the LPTC membrane conductance increases in flying flies. To physiologically investigate the degree to which activity causes presynaptic and postsynaptic effects, we conducted intracellular recordings of Eristalis horizontal system (HS) neurons. We constructed contrast response functions before and after adaptation at different temporal frequencies, with and without the octopamine receptor agonist chlordimeform (CDM). We extracted three motion adaptation components, where two are likely to be generated presynaptically of the LPTCs, and one within them. We found that CDM affected the early, EMD-associated contrast gain reduction, temporal frequency dependently. However, a CDM-induced change of the HS membrane conductance disappeared during and after visual stimulation. This suggests that physical activity mainly affects motion adaptation presynaptically of LPTCs, whereas post-EMD effects have a minimal effect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages10
    JournalFrontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
    Volume6
    Issue numberArticle: 55
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Octopaminergic modulation of contrast sensitivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this