Development of Visual Pattern Discrimination in the Fly Depends on Light Experience

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Science  04 Apr 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4746, pp. 83-85
DOI: 10.1126/science.232.4746.83


Pattern discrimination by dewinged walking flies (Boettcherisca peregrina) was tested in behavioral experiments. After emergence, the flies were deprived of light or visual patterns. Deprivation impaired the normal development of visual pattern discrimination without impairing phototaxis. Flies kept in a lighted, white, unpatterned environment could not discriminate visual patterns, nor could flies kept in continuous darkness. These results indicate that there is considerable plasticity in the structure of the visual system of these flies.