David C. O'Carroll

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In many species, including humans, exposure to high image velocities induces motion adaptation, but the neural mechanisms are unclear. We have isolated two mechanisms that act on directionally selective motion-sensitive neurons in the fly's visual system. Both are driven strongly by movement and weakly, if at all, by flicker. The first mechanism, a(More)
Although a great deal of experimental evidence supports the notion of a Reichardt correlator as a mechanism for biological motion detection, the correlator does not signal true image velocity. This study examines the accuracy with which realistic Reichardt correlators can provide velocity estimates in an organism's natural visual environment. The(More)
A hot head gives an insect a clearer view of a moving world because warming reduces motion blur by accelerating photoreceptor responses. Over a natural temperature range, 19–34 °C, the speed of response of blowfly (Calliphora vicina) photoreceptors more than doubles, to produce the fastest functional responses recorded from an ocular photoreceptor. This(More)
Eyes of the hoverfly Eristalis tenax are sexually dimorphic such that males have a fronto-dorsal region of large facets. In contrast to other large flies in which large facets are associated with a decreased interommatidial angle to form a dorsal "acute zone" of increased spatial resolution, we show that a dorsal region of large facets in males appears to(More)
How do animals regulate self-movement despite large variation in the luminance contrast of the environment? Insects are capable of regulating flight speed based on the velocity of image motion, but the mechanisms for this are unclear. The Hassenstein-Reichardt correlator model and elaborations can accurately predict responses of motion detecting neurons(More)
To detect motion, primates, birds and insects all use local detectors to correlate signals sampled at one location in the image with those sampled after a delay at adjacent locations. These detectors can adapt to high image velocities by shortening the delay. To investigate whether they use long delays for detecting low velocities, we compared(More)
Our recent study [O'Carroll et al. (1996). Nature 382, 63-66) described a correlation between the spatio-temporal properties of motion detecting neurons in the optic lobes of flying insects and behaviour. We consider here theoretical properties of insect motion detectors at very low image velocities and measure spatial and temporal sensitivity of neurons in(More)
We present a computational model for target discrimination based on intracellular recordings from neurons in the fly visual system. Determining how insects detect and track small moving features, often against cluttered moving backgrounds, is an intriguing challenge, both from a physiological and a computational perspective. Previous research has(More)
BACKGROUND Despite having tiny brains and relatively low-resolution compound eyes, many fly species frequently engage in precisely controlled aerobatic pursuits of conspecifics. Recent investigations into high-order processing in the fly visual system have revealed a class of neurons, coined small-target-motion detectors (STMDs), capable of responding(More)
Detection of targets that move within visual clutter is a common task for animals searching for prey or conspecifics, a task made even more difficult when a moving pursuer needs to analyze targets against the motion of background texture (clutter). Despite the limited optical acuity of the compound eye of insects, this challenging task seems to have been(More)