Scales and facets: Optical signaling and sensing in flies and butterflies



This project addresses the following outstanding questions related to visual signaling and the concerted sensing of colour, polarization, and motion cues, by comparing two very different, highly specialized and optimized model systems: flies versus butterflies.

1. What are the sampling efficiencies of the diverse retinal mosaics in fly vs butterfly compound eyes? How do butterfly and fly retinal mosaics perform in different visual environments?
2. What are the stimulus parameters related to qualities of light (colour, polarization, iridescence) that flies and butterflies exploit for target (conspecifics, flowers, water, oviposition, predators) detection and approach?
3. How are the signals detected and processed by spectral and polarization detectors in the retina and subsequently computed and integrated in the downstream neural layers?
4. At which neural stage are signals mediated by polarization- and motion-vision pathways integrated to enable coherent motor guidance and control signals for adequate behavior?
5. How are the diverse visual systems of flies and butterflies tuned to the specific visual tasks, imposed by the particular visual ecology of the studied species?

The project is carried out by a consortium consisting of the University of Groningen, the University of Ljubljana, the Imperial College London, and the Freie Universität Berlin.
Korte titelScales and facets
Effectieve start/einddatum01/08/202301/08/2027


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