Fly Flight: A Model for the Neural Control of Complex Behavior

Neuron. 2001 Nov 8;32(3):385-8. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(01)00490-1.


Flies exhibit a repertoire of aerial acrobatics unmatched in robustness and aerodynamic sophistication. The exquisite control of this complex behavior emerges from encoding intricate patterns of optic flow, and the translation of these visual signals into the mechanical language of the motor system. Recent advances in experimental design toward more naturalistic visual and mechanosensory stimuli have served to reinforce fly flight as a key model system for understanding how feedback from multiple sensory modalities is integrated to control complex and robust motor behaviors across taxa.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Diptera / physiology*
  • Flight, Animal / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*