Dedicated photoreceptor pathways in Drosophila larvae mediate navigation by processing either spatial or temporal cues.

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Humberg, Tim-Henning  ORCID logo
Bruegger, Pascal 
Afonso, Bruno 
Zlatic, Marta 
Truman, James W 

To integrate changing environmental cues with high spatial and temporal resolution is critical for animals to orient themselves. Drosophila larvae show an effective motor program to navigate away from light sources. How the larval visual circuit processes light stimuli to control navigational decision remains unknown. The larval visual system is composed of two sensory input channels, Rhodopsin5 (Rh5) and Rhodopsin6 (Rh6) expressing photoreceptors (PRs). We here characterize how spatial and temporal information are used to control navigation. Rh6-PRs are required to perceive temporal changes of light intensity during head casts, while Rh5-PRs are required to control behaviors that allow navigation in response to spatial cues. We characterize how distinct behaviors are modulated and identify parallel acting and converging features of the visual circuit. Functional features of the larval visual circuit highlight the principle of how early in a sensory circuit distinct behaviors may be computed by partly overlapping sensory pathways.

Animals, Behavior, Animal, Cues, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Larva, Lasers, Light, Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate, Phototaxis, Probability, Rhodopsin, Spatial Navigation, Time Factors, Vision, Ocular
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Nat Commun
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC