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Retinally-generated saccadic suppression of a locust looming-detector neuron: Investigations using a robot locust

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Roger Santer, Dr Richard Stafford, Dr Claire RindORCiD


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A fundamental task performed by many visual systems is to distinguish apparent motion caused by eye movements from real motion occurring within the environment. During saccadic eye movements, this task is achieved by inhibitory signals of central and retinal origin that suppress the output of motion-detecting neurons. To investigate the retinally-generated component of this suppression, we used a computational model of a locust looming-detecting pathway that experiences saccadic suppression. This model received input from the camera of a mobile robot that performed simple saccade-like movements, allowing the model's response to simplified real stimuli to be tested. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression resulted from two inhibitory mechanisms within the looming-detector's input architecture. One mechanism fed inhibition forward through the network, inhibiting the looming-detector's initial response to movement. The second spread inhibition laterally within the network, suppressing the looming-detector's maintained response to movement. These mechanisms prevent a looming-detector model response to whole-field visual stimuli. In the locust, this mechanism of saccadic suppression may operate in addition to centrally-generated suppression. Because lateral inhibition is a common feature of early visual processing in many organisms, we discuss whether the mechanism of retinally-generated saccadic suppression found in the locust looming-detector model may also operate in these species. © 2004 The Royal Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Santer RD, Stafford R, Rind FC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Year: 2004

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-77

Print publication date: 01/01/2004

ISSN (print): 1742-5689

ISSN (electronic): 1742-5662

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2004.0007

PubMed id: 16849153


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