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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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Examples of AF7 neurons.(A–C). Tracings of example neurons with projections in AF7 and the tectum. (D) Overlay of tracings from four neurons with arbors in AF7 and the nMLF. In two cases, the projections toward the hindbrain became too faint to follow.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.015
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fig7s1: Examples of AF7 neurons.(A–C). Tracings of example neurons with projections in AF7 and the tectum. (D) Overlay of tracings from four neurons with arbors in AF7 and the nMLF. In two cases, the projections toward the hindbrain became too faint to follow.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.015

Mentions: We used single cell electroporation to identify AF7's putative postsynaptic partners, by targeting cell bodies near AF7. We identified two classes of neurons with a proximal arbor located in the AF7 neuropil and distal arbors in other brain areas. The first class of neurons with processes in AF7, as well as the neighboring non-retinorecipient neuropil, formed a distinct projection to the tectum (Figure 7A,B). In all cases (n = 12) the tectal branch was located in a region between the SO and SFGS layers that does not receive RGC axons. We also observed that all of these projections terminated in the anterior fifth of the tectum (Figure 7B,C, and Figure 7—figure supplement 1).10.7554/eLife.04878.014Figure 7.Morphologies of pretectal AF7 neurons.


A dedicated visual pathway for prey detection in larval zebrafish.

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

Examples of AF7 neurons.(A–C). Tracings of example neurons with projections in AF7 and the tectum. (D) Overlay of tracings from four neurons with arbors in AF7 and the nMLF. In two cases, the projections toward the hindbrain became too faint to follow.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.015
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4281881&req=5

fig7s1: Examples of AF7 neurons.(A–C). Tracings of example neurons with projections in AF7 and the tectum. (D) Overlay of tracings from four neurons with arbors in AF7 and the nMLF. In two cases, the projections toward the hindbrain became too faint to follow.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.015
Mentions: We used single cell electroporation to identify AF7's putative postsynaptic partners, by targeting cell bodies near AF7. We identified two classes of neurons with a proximal arbor located in the AF7 neuropil and distal arbors in other brain areas. The first class of neurons with processes in AF7, as well as the neighboring non-retinorecipient neuropil, formed a distinct projection to the tectum (Figure 7A,B). In all cases (n = 12) the tectal branch was located in a region between the SO and SFGS layers that does not receive RGC axons. We also observed that all of these projections terminated in the anterior fifth of the tectum (Figure 7B,C, and Figure 7—figure supplement 1).10.7554/eLife.04878.014Figure 7.Morphologies of pretectal AF7 neurons.

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