Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Color Vision Is Processed: Fly Brain Circuitry Mapped

Date:
March 30, 2008
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Biologists have mapped the medulla circuitry in fruit flies, setting the stage for subsequent research on how color vision is processed. The work will enable researchers to explore how color vision is processed in the optic lobe of the fruit fly Drosophila, providing a paradigm for more complex systems in vertebrates.

Biologists have mapped the medulla circuitry in fruit flies, setting the stage for subsequent research on how color vision is processed.
Credit: University of Missouri

New York University biologists have mapped the medulla circuitry in fruit flies, setting the stage for subsequent research on how color vision is processed. The work, which appeared in the journal Current Biology, will enable researchers to explore how color vision is processed in the optic lobe of the fruit fly Drosophila, providing a paradigm for more complex systems in vertebrates.

The research was conducted by postdoctoral fellow Javier Morante and Professor Claude Desplan of NYU's Center for Developmental Genetics. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Eyes have been optimized to process maximum amounts of information by perceiving different parameters of the visual world and responding to them. The eyes can perform several major functions, from simple detection of light for clock synchronization to formation of images. The image of the environment formed by the optics of the eye on the retina is then transferred to brain processing centers. Both retina and brain processing centers have specialized morphology and function to achieve their various tasks.

In this study, the researchers studied processing of color vision, which requires comparison between photoreceptors that are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. They examined the fruit fly Drosophila. Genetic tools in fruit flies are extremely powerful and therefore allow for in depth analysis of neural circuits. In Drosophila, color vision is achieved by specialized photoreceptors that contain different rhodopsins, the photopigments that detect specific wavelengths of light and compare their output in the optic lobes.

Morante and Desplan reconstructed the neural network in Drosophila's medulla--the brain structure where color photoreceptors project--focusing on neurons likely to be involved in processing color vision. In this endeavor, they identified the full complement of neurons in the medulla. They also developed highly specific analytical tools that will allow scientists to functionally manipulate the network and test both activity and behavior.

"Future experiments using our results will help reveal the exact function of the optic lobe cells in these complex circuits and to reach a better understanding of the mechanisms that govern the physiology of vision both in invertebrates and vertebrates," said Desplan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "How Color Vision Is Processed: Fly Brain Circuitry Mapped." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325113407.htm>.
New York University. (2008, March 30). How Color Vision Is Processed: Fly Brain Circuitry Mapped. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325113407.htm
New York University. "How Color Vision Is Processed: Fly Brain Circuitry Mapped." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325113407.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins