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Interactions of local movement detectors enhance the detection of rotation. Optokinetic experiments with the rock crab, Pachygrapsus marmoratus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2009

Roland Kern
Affiliation:
Lehrstuhl für Biokybernetik, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-7400 Tübingen, Germany
Hans-Ortwin Nalbach
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Spemannstraße 38, D-7400 Tübingen, Germany
Dezsö Varjú
Affiliation:
Lehrstuhl für Biokybernetik, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-7400 Tübingen, Germany

Abstract

Walking crabs move their eyes to compensate for retinal image motion only during rotation and not during translation, even when both components are superimposed. We tested in the rock crab, Pachygrapsus marmoratus, whether this ability to decompose optic flow may arise from topographical interactions of local movement detectors. We recorded the optokinetic eye movements of the rock crab in a sinusoidally oscillating drum which carried two 10-deg wide black vertical stripes. Their azimuthal separation varied from 20 to 180 deg, and each two-stripe configuration was presented at different azimuthal positions around the crab. In general, the responses are the stronger the more widely the stripes are separated. Furthermore, the response amplitude depends also strongly on the azimuthal positions of the stripes. We propose a model with excitatory interactions between pairs of movement detectors that quantitatively accounts for the enhanced optokinetic responses to widely separated textured patches in the visual field that move in phase. The interactions take place both within one eye and, predominantly, between both eyes. We conclude that these interactions aid in the detection of rotation.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

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Interactions of local movement detectors enhance the detection of rotation. Optokinetic experiments with the rock crab, Pachygrapsus marmoratus
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