Spatial response properties of contralateral inhibited lobula plate tangential cells in the fly visual system

J Comp Neurol. 1999 Mar 29;406(1):51-71. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19990329)406:1<51::aid-cne4>;2-i.


This study describes the spatial response properties of a particular group of motion-sensitive and directionally selective neurons located in the lobula plate of the fly visual system. Their preferred motion direction is front-to-back (depolarization), and their null direction is back-to-front (hyperpolarization). They receive inhibitory input from the contralateral eye during pattern motion from back to front (regressive). In this study, we call these neurons regressive contralateral inhibited lobula plate tangential cells (rCI-LPTCs). Three physiologic groups of rCI-neurons (rCI-I, rCI-IIa, and rCI-IIb) can be distinguished on the basis of their ipsilateral pattern size dependence and their inhibitory contralateral input. rCI-I neurons depolarize during the motion of small ipsilateral patterns from front to back, but they become hyperpolarized by large ipsilateral patterns moving in the same direction. rCI-IIa and rCI-IIb neurons receive bidirectional inhibitory input from the contralateral eye. rCI-IIa neurons respond best to small ipsilateral pattern sizes, but unlike rCI-I neurons, their net response to large patterns is positive. rCI-IIb neurons respond best to large ipsilateral patterns. The anatomical and physiologic variability of the rCI-neurons suggests that more than three types of rCI-neurons exist. The suggested physiologic groups might be preliminary. We recorded one neuron that could mediate the bidirectional inhibitory input that rCI-IIa and rCI-IIb neurons receive from the contralateral eye. In the case of the rCI-IIa neurons at least one further contralateral inhibitory element has to be assumed. The tuning of rCI-IIa neurons to small ipsilateral pattern sizes is likely to be based on an on-center/off-surround organization of their synaptic input.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diptera / physiology*
  • Female
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*