Exploitation of an ancient escape circuit by an avian predator

Relationships between taxon-specific prey escape circuits and the sensitivity to visual cues from the predator

P. G. Jabłoński, Nicholas J Strausfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The painted redstart Myioborus pictus uses visual displays to flush, pursue, and then capture an abundance of brachyceran Diptera that are equipped with giant fiber escape circuits. This paper investigates the relationships between features of the giant fiber system, the structure of visual stimuli produced by redstarts and their effectiveness in eliciting escape reactions by flies. The results show that dipterous taxa having large-diameter giant fibers extending short distances from the brain to motor neurons involved in escape are flushed at greater distances than taxa with longer and small-diameter giant fibers. The results of behavioral tests show the importance of angular acceleration of expanding image edges on the compound eye in eliciting escape responses. Lateral motion of stimulus profile edges as well as structured visual profiles additionally contribute to the sensitivity of one or more neural systems that trigger escape. Retinal subtense and angular velocity are known to trigger physiological responses in fly giant fiber circuits, but the contributions of edge length and lateral motion in a looming stimulus suggest that escape pathways might also receive inputs from circuits that are tuned to different types of motion. The present results suggest that these several properties of escape pathways have contributed to the evolution of foraging displays and plumage patterns in flush-pursuing birds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-240
Number of pages23
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

visual cue
Diptera
Cues
predator
predators
Escape Reaction
compound eyes
Motor Neurons
motor neurons
plumage
physiological response
Birds
foraging
brain
birds
Brain
fibre
bird
testing

Keywords

  • Behavioral evolution
  • Bird plumage
  • Escape circuits
  • Insect vision
  • Sensory exploitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

@article{1e91cc85c8f24739b79bca393eb6af9f,
title = "Exploitation of an ancient escape circuit by an avian predator: Relationships between taxon-specific prey escape circuits and the sensitivity to visual cues from the predator",
abstract = "The painted redstart Myioborus pictus uses visual displays to flush, pursue, and then capture an abundance of brachyceran Diptera that are equipped with giant fiber escape circuits. This paper investigates the relationships between features of the giant fiber system, the structure of visual stimuli produced by redstarts and their effectiveness in eliciting escape reactions by flies. The results show that dipterous taxa having large-diameter giant fibers extending short distances from the brain to motor neurons involved in escape are flushed at greater distances than taxa with longer and small-diameter giant fibers. The results of behavioral tests show the importance of angular acceleration of expanding image edges on the compound eye in eliciting escape responses. Lateral motion of stimulus profile edges as well as structured visual profiles additionally contribute to the sensitivity of one or more neural systems that trigger escape. Retinal subtense and angular velocity are known to trigger physiological responses in fly giant fiber circuits, but the contributions of edge length and lateral motion in a looming stimulus suggest that escape pathways might also receive inputs from circuits that are tuned to different types of motion. The present results suggest that these several properties of escape pathways have contributed to the evolution of foraging displays and plumage patterns in flush-pursuing birds.",
keywords = "Behavioral evolution, Bird plumage, Escape circuits, Insect vision, Sensory exploitation",
author = "Jabłoński, {P. G.} and Strausfeld, {Nicholas J}",
year = "2001",
doi = "10.1159/000057565",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "58",
pages = "218--240",
journal = "Brain, Behavior and Evolution",
issn = "0006-8977",
publisher = "S. Karger AG",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploitation of an ancient escape circuit by an avian predator

T2 - Relationships between taxon-specific prey escape circuits and the sensitivity to visual cues from the predator

AU - Jabłoński, P. G.

AU - Strausfeld, Nicholas J

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - The painted redstart Myioborus pictus uses visual displays to flush, pursue, and then capture an abundance of brachyceran Diptera that are equipped with giant fiber escape circuits. This paper investigates the relationships between features of the giant fiber system, the structure of visual stimuli produced by redstarts and their effectiveness in eliciting escape reactions by flies. The results show that dipterous taxa having large-diameter giant fibers extending short distances from the brain to motor neurons involved in escape are flushed at greater distances than taxa with longer and small-diameter giant fibers. The results of behavioral tests show the importance of angular acceleration of expanding image edges on the compound eye in eliciting escape responses. Lateral motion of stimulus profile edges as well as structured visual profiles additionally contribute to the sensitivity of one or more neural systems that trigger escape. Retinal subtense and angular velocity are known to trigger physiological responses in fly giant fiber circuits, but the contributions of edge length and lateral motion in a looming stimulus suggest that escape pathways might also receive inputs from circuits that are tuned to different types of motion. The present results suggest that these several properties of escape pathways have contributed to the evolution of foraging displays and plumage patterns in flush-pursuing birds.

AB - The painted redstart Myioborus pictus uses visual displays to flush, pursue, and then capture an abundance of brachyceran Diptera that are equipped with giant fiber escape circuits. This paper investigates the relationships between features of the giant fiber system, the structure of visual stimuli produced by redstarts and their effectiveness in eliciting escape reactions by flies. The results show that dipterous taxa having large-diameter giant fibers extending short distances from the brain to motor neurons involved in escape are flushed at greater distances than taxa with longer and small-diameter giant fibers. The results of behavioral tests show the importance of angular acceleration of expanding image edges on the compound eye in eliciting escape responses. Lateral motion of stimulus profile edges as well as structured visual profiles additionally contribute to the sensitivity of one or more neural systems that trigger escape. Retinal subtense and angular velocity are known to trigger physiological responses in fly giant fiber circuits, but the contributions of edge length and lateral motion in a looming stimulus suggest that escape pathways might also receive inputs from circuits that are tuned to different types of motion. The present results suggest that these several properties of escape pathways have contributed to the evolution of foraging displays and plumage patterns in flush-pursuing birds.

KW - Behavioral evolution

KW - Bird plumage

KW - Escape circuits

KW - Insect vision

KW - Sensory exploitation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035568876&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035568876&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1159/000057565

DO - 10.1159/000057565

M3 - Article

VL - 58

SP - 218

EP - 240

JO - Brain, Behavior and Evolution

JF - Brain, Behavior and Evolution

SN - 0006-8977

IS - 4

ER -