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Differences in spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of flight control in the honeybees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera

Chakravarthi, Aravin LU ; Rajus, Santosh; Kelber, Almut LU ; Dacke, Marie LU and Baird, Emily LU (2018) In Journal of Experimental Biology 221(20).
Abstract

Visually guided behaviour is constrained by the capacity of the visual system to resolve detail. This, in turn, is limited by the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of the underlying visual system. Because these properties are interdependent and vary nonuniformly, it is only possible to fully understand the limits of a specific visually guided behaviour when they are investigated in combination. To understand the visual limits of flight control in bees, which rely heavily on vision to control flight, and to explore whether they vary between species, we tested how changes in spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity affect the speed and position control of the Asian and European honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis mellifera).... (More)

Visually guided behaviour is constrained by the capacity of the visual system to resolve detail. This, in turn, is limited by the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of the underlying visual system. Because these properties are interdependent and vary nonuniformly, it is only possible to fully understand the limits of a specific visually guided behaviour when they are investigated in combination. To understand the visual limits of flight control in bees, which rely heavily on vision to control flight, and to explore whether they vary between species, we tested how changes in spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity affect the speed and position control of the Asian and European honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis mellifera). Despite the apparent similarity of these species, we found some interesting and surprising differences between their visual limits. While the effect of spatial frequency and contrast on position control is similar between the species, ground speed is differently affected by these variables. A comparison with published data from the bumblebee Bombus terrestris revealed further differences. The visual resolution that limits the detection and use of optic flow for flight control in both species of honeybee is lower than the previously anatomically determined resolution and differs from object detection limits of A. mellifera, providing evidence that the limits of spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity are highly tuned to the particular behavioural task of a species.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Contrast sensitivity, Flight control, Insect, Optic flow, Spatial resolution, Visual information
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
221
issue
20
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055078504
ISSN
0022-0949
DOI
10.1242/jeb.184267
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be5271a3-0918-42f5-b3b3-52b8aa184a07
date added to LUP
2018-11-16 08:50:04
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:36:22
@article{be5271a3-0918-42f5-b3b3-52b8aa184a07,
  abstract     = {<p>Visually guided behaviour is constrained by the capacity of the visual system to resolve detail. This, in turn, is limited by the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of the underlying visual system. Because these properties are interdependent and vary nonuniformly, it is only possible to fully understand the limits of a specific visually guided behaviour when they are investigated in combination. To understand the visual limits of flight control in bees, which rely heavily on vision to control flight, and to explore whether they vary between species, we tested how changes in spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity affect the speed and position control of the Asian and European honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis mellifera). Despite the apparent similarity of these species, we found some interesting and surprising differences between their visual limits. While the effect of spatial frequency and contrast on position control is similar between the species, ground speed is differently affected by these variables. A comparison with published data from the bumblebee Bombus terrestris revealed further differences. The visual resolution that limits the detection and use of optic flow for flight control in both species of honeybee is lower than the previously anatomically determined resolution and differs from object detection limits of A. mellifera, providing evidence that the limits of spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity are highly tuned to the particular behavioural task of a species.</p>},
  articleno    = {jeb184267},
  author       = {Chakravarthi, Aravin and Rajus, Santosh and Kelber, Almut and Dacke, Marie and Baird, Emily},
  issn         = {0022-0949},
  keyword      = {Contrast sensitivity,Flight control,Insect,Optic flow,Spatial resolution,Visual information},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {20},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Differences in spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of flight control in the honeybees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.184267},
  volume       = {221},
  year         = {2018},
}