Neural encoding of behaviourally relevant visual-motion information in the fly

Trends Neurosci. 2002 Feb;25(2):96-102. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(02)02063-5.


Information processing in visual systems is constrained by the spatial and temporal characteristics of the sensory input and by the biophysical properties of the neuronal circuits. Hence, to understand how visual systems encode behaviourally relevant information, we need to know about both the computational capabilities of the nervous system and the natural conditions under which animals normally operate. By combining behavioural, neurophysiological and computational approaches, it is now possible in the fly to assess adaptations that process visual-motion information under the constraints of its natural input. It is concluded that neuronal operating ranges and coding strategies appear to be closely matched to the inputs the animal encounters under behaviourally relevant conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Diptera
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology