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A dedicated visual pathway for prey detection in larval zebrafish.

Semmelhack JL, Donovan JC, Thiele TR, Kuehn E, Laurell E, Baier H - Elife (2014)

Bottom Line: Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus.We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain.These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department Genes-Circuits-Behavior, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Zebrafish larvae show characteristic prey capture behavior in response to small moving objects. The neural mechanism used to recognize objects as prey remains largely unknown. We devised a machine learning behavior classification system to quantify hunting kinematics in semi-restrained animals exposed to a range of virtual stimuli. Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus. This pretectal region is innervated by two types of retinal ganglion cells, which also send collaterals to the optic tectum. Laser ablation of AF7 markedly reduced prey capture behavior. We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain. These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response.

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Response of RGC axons in the tectum to stimuli of varying sizes.(A) Baseline fluorescence of RGC axons in the anterior half of the tectum, 50 µM below the dorsal surface of the tectum. Dotted line shows ROI, which includes the SO, SFGS, and SGC. (B) Traces showing responses to a range of different size stimuli in RGC axons in the anterior tectum of one larva. Ath5:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s larvae were used for these experiments. (C) Average response of five larvae to stimuli 1–20° in diameter.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.008
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fig3s1: Response of RGC axons in the tectum to stimuli of varying sizes.(A) Baseline fluorescence of RGC axons in the anterior half of the tectum, 50 µM below the dorsal surface of the tectum. Dotted line shows ROI, which includes the SO, SFGS, and SGC. (B) Traces showing responses to a range of different size stimuli in RGC axons in the anterior tectum of one larva. Ath5:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s larvae were used for these experiments. (C) Average response of five larvae to stimuli 1–20° in diameter.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.008

Mentions: (A) Schematic frontal view of the brain showing AFs. Red line indicates imaging plane for C–G. (B) Response to the ideal prey stimulus (3° dot, 90°/s) in other AFs in an Isl2b:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s transgenic larva. n = 9 larvae. (C) Baseline fluorescence of RGCs in an Isl2b:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP3 larva. (D) Peak frame in the response to a 2° dot. (E) Peak frame in the response to a 10° dot. (F) Response of all larvae (n = 9) to stimuli 0.5–14° in diameter. ROIs were defined anatomically as in (C). The ΔF/F is plotted as a percentage of the maximum response for that larva. Grey lines represent the behavioral tuning curve from Figure 2A. (G) Response of AF7 RGC axons to a 3° dot travelling at a speed of 6–800°/s. Grey lines represent the behavioral tuning curve from Figure 2B. (H) Responses of AF7 to a range of different size stimuli. Blue box represents the one second interval when the stimulus was onscreen. (I) AF7 response to 3° dot moving in various directions. n = 10 larvae. Error bars = ±SEM. See Figure 3—figure supplement 1 for tuning properties of tectal RGC axons.


A dedicated visual pathway for prey detection in larval zebrafish.

Semmelhack JL, Donovan JC, Thiele TR, Kuehn E, Laurell E, Baier H - Elife (2014)

Response of RGC axons in the tectum to stimuli of varying sizes.(A) Baseline fluorescence of RGC axons in the anterior half of the tectum, 50 µM below the dorsal surface of the tectum. Dotted line shows ROI, which includes the SO, SFGS, and SGC. (B) Traces showing responses to a range of different size stimuli in RGC axons in the anterior tectum of one larva. Ath5:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s larvae were used for these experiments. (C) Average response of five larvae to stimuli 1–20° in diameter.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.008
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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fig3s1: Response of RGC axons in the tectum to stimuli of varying sizes.(A) Baseline fluorescence of RGC axons in the anterior half of the tectum, 50 µM below the dorsal surface of the tectum. Dotted line shows ROI, which includes the SO, SFGS, and SGC. (B) Traces showing responses to a range of different size stimuli in RGC axons in the anterior tectum of one larva. Ath5:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s larvae were used for these experiments. (C) Average response of five larvae to stimuli 1–20° in diameter.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.008
Mentions: (A) Schematic frontal view of the brain showing AFs. Red line indicates imaging plane for C–G. (B) Response to the ideal prey stimulus (3° dot, 90°/s) in other AFs in an Isl2b:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP6s transgenic larva. n = 9 larvae. (C) Baseline fluorescence of RGCs in an Isl2b:Gal4, UAS:GCaMP3 larva. (D) Peak frame in the response to a 2° dot. (E) Peak frame in the response to a 10° dot. (F) Response of all larvae (n = 9) to stimuli 0.5–14° in diameter. ROIs were defined anatomically as in (C). The ΔF/F is plotted as a percentage of the maximum response for that larva. Grey lines represent the behavioral tuning curve from Figure 2A. (G) Response of AF7 RGC axons to a 3° dot travelling at a speed of 6–800°/s. Grey lines represent the behavioral tuning curve from Figure 2B. (H) Responses of AF7 to a range of different size stimuli. Blue box represents the one second interval when the stimulus was onscreen. (I) AF7 response to 3° dot moving in various directions. n = 10 larvae. Error bars = ±SEM. See Figure 3—figure supplement 1 for tuning properties of tectal RGC axons.

Bottom Line: Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus.We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain.These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department Genes-Circuits-Behavior, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Zebrafish larvae show characteristic prey capture behavior in response to small moving objects. The neural mechanism used to recognize objects as prey remains largely unknown. We devised a machine learning behavior classification system to quantify hunting kinematics in semi-restrained animals exposed to a range of virtual stimuli. Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus. This pretectal region is innervated by two types of retinal ganglion cells, which also send collaterals to the optic tectum. Laser ablation of AF7 markedly reduced prey capture behavior. We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain. These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus