The International Conference for Neuroethology (ICN) is the official regular meeting of the International Society for Neuroethology (ISN). ISN is a scholarly society devoted to Neuroethology, formed in Kassel, Germany in 1981. The 2022 conference was held from the 24th to the 29th July, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Neuroethology is a relatively young science that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It focuses on the study of how nervous systems generate natural behavior in animals. These regular conference meetings enable researchers in the field to share their research and progress the work in this field.
ULTRACEPT researcher Yair Barnatan from project partner Universidad Buenos Aires presented his research poster ‘Functional evidence of the role of the crab lobula plate as optic flow processing center’ at the Vision and Photoreception session.
Functional evidence of the role of the crab lobula plate as optic flow processing center
Yair Barnatan; Dr. Daniel Tomsic; Dr. Julieta Sztarker.
Rotational motion produces a wide drift of the visual panorama over the retina of animals, termed optic flow (OF). Such motion is stabilized by compensatory behaviors (driven by the movement of the eyes, heads or the whole body depending on the animal) collectively termed optomotor response (OR). It has long been known that, in the visual system of flies, the lobula plate is the center involved in OF analysis and in guiding OR. Recently, a crustacean lobula plate was characterized by neuroanatomical techniques in the mud crab Neohelice granulata, sharing many canonical features with the dipteran neuropil. This lead to questioning if a common functional role is also shared. In this work we tackle that question by performing electrolytic lesions followed by behavioral testing. Results show that crabs with lesioned lobula plates fail to execute OR (or present a poor and unsynchronized response) in comparison to both control-lesioned (presenting a lesion of similar size but in another region of the optic neuropils) and non-lesioned animals. The lesion of the lobula plate cause a specific impairment in the OR, since avoidance responses to an approaching visual stimulus were not affected. These results present strong evidence supporting that a similar neuroanatomical structure in crabs and flies, the lobula plate, carries out the same function.