Visual Pattern Recognition in Drosophila Is Invariant for Retinal Position

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Science  13 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5686, pp. 1020-1022
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099839

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Vision relies on constancy mechanisms. Yet, these are little understood, because they are difficult to investigate in freely moving organisms. One such mechanism, translation invariance, enables organisms to recognize visual patterns independent of the region of their visual field where they had originally seen them. Tethered flies (Drosophila melanogaster) in a flight simulator can recognize visual patterns. Because their eyes are fixed in space and patterns can be displayed in defined parts of their visual field, they can be tested for translation invariance. Here, we show that flies recognize patterns at retinal positions where the patterns had not been presented before.

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