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Honeybees turn their thorax and thus their flight motor to change direction or to fly sideways. If the bee's head were fixed to its thorax, such movements would have great impact on vision. Head movements independent of thorax orientation can stabilize gaze and thus play an important and active role in shaping the structure of the visual input the animal(More)
Male blowflies chase and catch other flies in fast acrobatic flights. To unravel the underlying control system, we presented a black moving sphere instead of a real fly as a pursuit target. By varying the size and speed of the target, we were able to systematically analyse the decisive visual determinants that guide chasing behaviour. Flies pursue targets(More)
Insects such as flies or bees, with their miniature brains, are able to control highly aerobatic flight maneuvres and to solve spatial vision tasks, such as avoiding collisions with obstacles, landing on objects, or even localizing a previously learnt inconspicuous goal on the basis of environmental cues. With regard to solving such spatial tasks, these(More)
Blowfly flight consists of two main components, saccadic turns and intervals of mostly straight gaze direction, although, as a consequence of inertia, flight trajectories usually change direction smoothly. We investigated how flight behavior changes depending on the surroundings and how saccadic turns and intersaccadic translational movements might be(More)
Honeybees use visual cues to relocate profitable food sources and their hive. What bees see while navigating, depends on the appearance of the cues, the bee's current position, orientation, and movement relative to them. Here we analyze the detailed flight behavior during the localization of a goal surrounded by cylinders that are characterized either by a(More)
As animals travel through the environment, powerful reflexes help stabilize their gaze by actively maintaining head and eyes in a level orientation. Gaze stabilization reduces motion blur and prevents image rotations. It also assists in depth perception based on translational optic flow. Here we describe side-to-side flight manoeuvres in honeybees and(More)
Lateralization is a well-described phenomenon in humans and other vertebrates and there are interesting parallels across a variety of different vertebrate species. However, there are only a few studies of lateralization in invertebrates. In a recent report, we showed lateralization of olfactory learning in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Here, we investigate(More)
The behavioural repertoire of male flies includes visually guided chasing after moving targets. The visuomotor control system for these pursuits belongs to the fastest found in the animal kingdom. We simulated a virtual fly, to test whether or not experimentally established hypotheses on the underlying control system are sufficient to explain chasing(More)
During courtship, male blowflies perform aerobatic pursuits that rank among the fastest visual behaviours that can be observed in nature. The viewing strategies during pursuit behaviour of blowflies appear to be very similar to eye movements during pursuit in primates: a combination of smooth pursuit and catch-up saccades. Whereas in primates these two(More)