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Target detection in insects: optical, neural and behavioral optimizations

last modified Sep 21, 2016 02:36 PM
New review from Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido and Samuel Fabian on Current Opinion in Neurobiology highlights how compound eyes in insects may be beneficial for visualizing small, fast targets

Abstract: Motion vision provides important cues for many tasks. Flying insects, for example, may pursue small, fast moving targets for mating or feeding purposes, even when these are detected against self-generated optic flow. Since insects are small, with size-constrained eyes and brains, they have evolved to optimize their optical, neural and behavioral target visualization solutions. Indeed, even if evolutionarily distant insects display different pursuit strategies, target neuron physiology is strikingly similar. Furthermore, the coarse spatial resolution of the insect compound eye might actually be beneficial when it comes to detection of moving targets. In conclusion, tiny insects show higher than expected performance in target visualization tasks.

Read the full article here.

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