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The generation of forces and moments during visual-evoked steering maneuvers in flying Drosophila.

Sugiura H, Dickinson MH - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE).Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position.These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. sugiura.hiroki@jaxa.jp

ABSTRACT
Sideslip force, longitudinal force, rolling moment, and pitching moment generated by tethered fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, were measured during optomotor reactions within an electronic flight simulator. Forces and torques were acquired by optically measuring the angular deflections of the beam to which the flies were tethered using a laser and a photodiode. Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE). The polarity of this behavior was such that the animal's aerodynamic response would carry it away from the expanding pattern, suggesting that it constitutes an avoidance reflex or centering response. Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position. Pitching moments remained nearly constant irrespective of stimulus position or strength, with a direction indicating a tonic nose-down pitch under tethered conditions. These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

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Schematic of an angular deflection of a tethered wire.(A) 2-D schematic. (B) 3-D schematic. (C) Six force components and point of origin of the fly. (D) Schematic of the experimental setup.
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pone-0004883-g001: Schematic of an angular deflection of a tethered wire.(A) 2-D schematic. (B) 3-D schematic. (C) Six force components and point of origin of the fly. (D) Schematic of the experimental setup.

Mentions: Experiments were conducted within a cylindrical flight arena consisting of 96 columns and 36 rows of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) [21]. Each LED subtended approximately 3.75°. For these experiments we created translational patterns consisting of square wave gratings that moved in opposite directions on two sides of the arena creating a focus of expansion (FOE) and a focus of contraction (FOC) spaced 180° apart (Fig. 1D). The luminance of the bright and dark panels was 72 and 2.7 cd m−2, respectively, and the Michelson contrast was 93%. A more detailed description of the display panels and their operation is provided elsewhere [21]. The spatial wavelength of each square wave was 30° and the angular velocity of the pattern was 150°s−1, corresponding to a temporal frequency of 5 s−1. A temporal frequency of 5 s−1 was chosen for the expanding stimulus because it elicits a maximum turning response as measured in a recent behavioral study [22]. To map the directional response of each animal, we rotated the azimuthal position of the FOE (and thus the FOC) in random order. Each visual pattern lasted 3 s and was followed by a 2 s rest period in which the pattern was stationary.


The generation of forces and moments during visual-evoked steering maneuvers in flying Drosophila.

Sugiura H, Dickinson MH - PLoS ONE (2009)

Schematic of an angular deflection of a tethered wire.(A) 2-D schematic. (B) 3-D schematic. (C) Six force components and point of origin of the fly. (D) Schematic of the experimental setup.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2654101&req=5

pone-0004883-g001: Schematic of an angular deflection of a tethered wire.(A) 2-D schematic. (B) 3-D schematic. (C) Six force components and point of origin of the fly. (D) Schematic of the experimental setup.
Mentions: Experiments were conducted within a cylindrical flight arena consisting of 96 columns and 36 rows of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) [21]. Each LED subtended approximately 3.75°. For these experiments we created translational patterns consisting of square wave gratings that moved in opposite directions on two sides of the arena creating a focus of expansion (FOE) and a focus of contraction (FOC) spaced 180° apart (Fig. 1D). The luminance of the bright and dark panels was 72 and 2.7 cd m−2, respectively, and the Michelson contrast was 93%. A more detailed description of the display panels and their operation is provided elsewhere [21]. The spatial wavelength of each square wave was 30° and the angular velocity of the pattern was 150°s−1, corresponding to a temporal frequency of 5 s−1. A temporal frequency of 5 s−1 was chosen for the expanding stimulus because it elicits a maximum turning response as measured in a recent behavioral study [22]. To map the directional response of each animal, we rotated the azimuthal position of the FOE (and thus the FOC) in random order. Each visual pattern lasted 3 s and was followed by a 2 s rest period in which the pattern was stationary.

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE).Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position.These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. sugiura.hiroki@jaxa.jp

ABSTRACT
Sideslip force, longitudinal force, rolling moment, and pitching moment generated by tethered fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, were measured during optomotor reactions within an electronic flight simulator. Forces and torques were acquired by optically measuring the angular deflections of the beam to which the flies were tethered using a laser and a photodiode. Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE). The polarity of this behavior was such that the animal's aerodynamic response would carry it away from the expanding pattern, suggesting that it constitutes an avoidance reflex or centering response. Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position. Pitching moments remained nearly constant irrespective of stimulus position or strength, with a direction indicating a tonic nose-down pitch under tethered conditions. These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus