Data from: To keep on track during flight, fruitflies discount the skyward view
Mazo, Chantell; Theobald, Jamie C. (2015), Data from: To keep on track during flight, fruitflies discount the skyward view, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jf150
When small flying insects go off their intended course, they use the resulting pattern of motion on their eye, or optic flow, to guide corrective steering. A change in heading generates a unique, rotational motion pattern and a change in position generates a translational motion pattern, and each produces corrective responses in the wingbeats. Any image in the flow field can signal rotation, but owing to parallax, only the images of nearby objects can signal translation. Insects that fly near the ground might therefore respond more strongly to translational optic flow that occurs beneath them, as the nearby ground will produce strong optic flow. In these experiments, rigidly tethered fruitflies steered in response to computer-generated flow fields. When correcting for unintended rotations, flies weight the motion in their upper and lower visual fields equally. However, when correcting for unintended translations, flies weight the motion in the lower visual fields more strongly. These results are consistent with the interpretation that fruitflies stabilize by attending to visual areas likely to contain the strongest signals during natural flight conditions.