The brain of a fly is capable of steering the animal through a complex environment at high relative speeds, avoiding stationary obstacles and moving predators. Because it is relatively easy to study how flies do this at several levels, from the behavioral to the cellular, fly vision has long been recognized as an ideal system to address a fundamental question in neuroscience -- how does the distributed activity of neurons orchestrate animal-environment interactions to result in successful coordinated behavior? We work on this basic question using techniques including automated realtime fly tracking, virtual reality displays, molecular genetic tools, and neuroanatomy.
- Straw, AD., Branson, K., Neumann, TR., Dickinson, MH. (2011). Multi-camera real-time three-dimensional tracking of multiple flying animals. J R Soc Interface. 8(56):395-409 (abstract)
- Maimon, G., Straw, AD., Dickinson, MH. (2010). Active flight increases the gain of visual motion processing in Drosophila. Nat Neurosci. 13(3):393-9 (abstract)
- Straw, AD., Lee, S., Dickinson, MH. (2010). Visual control of altitude in flying Drosophila. Curr Biol. 20(17):1550-6 (abstract)
- Straw, AD., Rainsford, T., O'Carroll, DC. (2008). Contrast sensitivity of insect motion detectors to natural images. J Vis. 8(3):32.1-9 (abstract)
- Straw, AD., Warrant, EJ., O'Carroll, DC. (2006). A "bright zone" in male hoverfly (Eristalis tenax) eyes and associated faster motion detection and increased contrast sensitivity. J Exp Biol. 209(Pt 21):4339-54 (abstract)