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Comparative system identification of flower tracking performance in three hawkmoth species reveals adaptations for dim light vision

Stöckl, Anna L. LU ; Kihlström, Klara; Chandler, Steven and Sponberg, Simon (2017) In Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences 372(1717).
Abstract

Flight control in insects is heavily dependent on vision. Thus, in dim light, the decreased reliability of visual signal detection also prompts consequences for insect flight. We have an emerging understanding of the neural mechanisms that different species employ to adapt the visual system to low light. However, much less explored are comparative analyses of how low light affects the flight behaviour of insect species, and the corresponding links between physiological adaptations and behaviour. We investigated whether the flower tracking behaviour of three hawkmoth species with different diel activity patterns revealed luminance-dependent adaptations, using a system identification approach. We found clear luminance-dependent... (More)

Flight control in insects is heavily dependent on vision. Thus, in dim light, the decreased reliability of visual signal detection also prompts consequences for insect flight. We have an emerging understanding of the neural mechanisms that different species employ to adapt the visual system to low light. However, much less explored are comparative analyses of how low light affects the flight behaviour of insect species, and the corresponding links between physiological adaptations and behaviour. We investigated whether the flower tracking behaviour of three hawkmoth species with different diel activity patterns revealed luminance-dependent adaptations, using a system identification approach. We found clear luminance-dependent differences in flower tracking in all three species, which were explained by a simple luminance-dependent delay model, which generalized across species. We discuss physiological and anatomical explanations for the variance in tracking responses, which could not be explained by such simple models. Differences between species could not be explained by the simple delay model. However, in several cases, they could be explained through the addition on a second model parameter, a simple scaling term, that captures the responsiveness of each species to flower movements. Thus, we demonstrate here that much of the variance in the luminance-dependent flower tracking responses of hawkmoths with different diel activity patterns can be captured by simple models of neural processing.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Flight, Flower tracking, Hawkmoth, Motor control, System identification, Vision
in
Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences
volume
372
issue
1717
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85012299182
  • wos:000394258900016
ISSN
0962-8436
DOI
10.1098/rstb.2016.0078
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2b04232e-3810-4e39-8837-f3d26f5a46d7
date added to LUP
2017-02-22 11:47:47
date last changed
2018-04-15 04:41:19
@article{2b04232e-3810-4e39-8837-f3d26f5a46d7,
  abstract     = {<p>Flight control in insects is heavily dependent on vision. Thus, in dim light, the decreased reliability of visual signal detection also prompts consequences for insect flight. We have an emerging understanding of the neural mechanisms that different species employ to adapt the visual system to low light. However, much less explored are comparative analyses of how low light affects the flight behaviour of insect species, and the corresponding links between physiological adaptations and behaviour. We investigated whether the flower tracking behaviour of three hawkmoth species with different diel activity patterns revealed luminance-dependent adaptations, using a system identification approach. We found clear luminance-dependent differences in flower tracking in all three species, which were explained by a simple luminance-dependent delay model, which generalized across species. We discuss physiological and anatomical explanations for the variance in tracking responses, which could not be explained by such simple models. Differences between species could not be explained by the simple delay model. However, in several cases, they could be explained through the addition on a second model parameter, a simple scaling term, that captures the responsiveness of each species to flower movements. Thus, we demonstrate here that much of the variance in the luminance-dependent flower tracking responses of hawkmoths with different diel activity patterns can be captured by simple models of neural processing.</p>},
  articleno    = {20160078},
  author       = {Stöckl, Anna L. and Kihlström, Klara and Chandler, Steven and Sponberg, Simon},
  issn         = {0962-8436},
  keyword      = {Flight,Flower tracking,Hawkmoth,Motor control,System identification,Vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {1717},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Comparative system identification of flower tracking performance in three hawkmoth species reveals adaptations for dim light vision},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0078},
  volume       = {372},
  year         = {2017},
}