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Integration of polarization and chromatic cues in the insect sky compass.

el Jundi, Basil LU ; Pfeiffer, Keram; Heinze, Stanley LU and Homberg, Uwe (2014) In Journal of Comparative Physiology A 200(6). p.575-589
Abstract
Animals relying on a celestial compass for spatial orientation may use the position of the sun, the chromatic or intensity gradient of the sky, the polarization pattern of the sky, or a combination of these cues as compass signals. Behavioral experiments in bees and ants, indeed, showed that direct sunlight and sky polarization play a role in sky compass orientation, but the relative importance of these cues are species-specific. Intracellular recordings from polarization-sensitive interneurons in the desert locust and monarch butterfly suggest that inputs from different eye regions, including polarized-light input through the dorsal rim area of the eye and chromatic/intensity gradient input from the main eye, are combined at the level of... (More)
Animals relying on a celestial compass for spatial orientation may use the position of the sun, the chromatic or intensity gradient of the sky, the polarization pattern of the sky, or a combination of these cues as compass signals. Behavioral experiments in bees and ants, indeed, showed that direct sunlight and sky polarization play a role in sky compass orientation, but the relative importance of these cues are species-specific. Intracellular recordings from polarization-sensitive interneurons in the desert locust and monarch butterfly suggest that inputs from different eye regions, including polarized-light input through the dorsal rim area of the eye and chromatic/intensity gradient input from the main eye, are combined at the level of the medulla to create a robust compass signal. Conflicting input from the polarization and chromatic/intensity channel, resulting from eccentric receptive fields, is eliminated at the level of the anterior optic tubercle and central complex through internal compensation for changing solar elevations, which requires input from a circadian clock. Across several species, the central complex likely serves as an internal sky compass, combining E-vector information with other celestial cues. Descending neurons, likewise, respond both to zenithal polarization and to unpolarized cues in an azimuth-dependent way. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Comparative Physiology A
volume
200
issue
6
pages
575 - 589
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:24589854
  • wos:000336739800014
  • scopus:84901671626
ISSN
1432-1351
DOI
10.1007/s00359-014-0890-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f20a0192-dc29-4b17-ae9e-21073cf23e56 (old id 4383989)
date added to LUP
2014-05-08 16:02:05
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:10:34
@article{f20a0192-dc29-4b17-ae9e-21073cf23e56,
  abstract     = {Animals relying on a celestial compass for spatial orientation may use the position of the sun, the chromatic or intensity gradient of the sky, the polarization pattern of the sky, or a combination of these cues as compass signals. Behavioral experiments in bees and ants, indeed, showed that direct sunlight and sky polarization play a role in sky compass orientation, but the relative importance of these cues are species-specific. Intracellular recordings from polarization-sensitive interneurons in the desert locust and monarch butterfly suggest that inputs from different eye regions, including polarized-light input through the dorsal rim area of the eye and chromatic/intensity gradient input from the main eye, are combined at the level of the medulla to create a robust compass signal. Conflicting input from the polarization and chromatic/intensity channel, resulting from eccentric receptive fields, is eliminated at the level of the anterior optic tubercle and central complex through internal compensation for changing solar elevations, which requires input from a circadian clock. Across several species, the central complex likely serves as an internal sky compass, combining E-vector information with other celestial cues. Descending neurons, likewise, respond both to zenithal polarization and to unpolarized cues in an azimuth-dependent way.},
  author       = {el Jundi, Basil and Pfeiffer, Keram and Heinze, Stanley and Homberg, Uwe},
  issn         = {1432-1351},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {575--589},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  title        = {Integration of polarization and chromatic cues in the insect sky compass.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-014-0890-6},
  volume       = {200},
  year         = {2014},
}