To extract visual motion, the nervous system must compare signals over space and time.
How this could be achieved, was solved computationally decades ago. Since then, visual motion-detection has served as a premier context in which to investigate how the nervous system performs specific computation.
While the core elements of motion detecting circuits have recently been proposed, it is already clear that specific aspects of motion computation are more distributed than previously anticipated and that even the peripheral processing of visual information in the fruit fly uses relatively complex circuits.
- How distributed are neural computations in the fly visual system?
- What is the role of the parallel pathways that we find?
- Do they help the animal to handle different behavioral or environmental contexts or adapt to different scene statistics, or are they merely making the system more robust?
Our goal is to disentangle these complex visual circuits and define the function of individual neurons, both in terms of their physiological specialization as well as their role in guiding visual behaviors.