GABA-antagonist inverts movement and object detection in flies

H. Bülthoff, I. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Movement detection is one of the most elementary visual computations performed by vertebrates as well as invertebrates. However, comparatively little is known about the biophysical mechanisms underlying this computation. It has been proposed on both physiological1,8,21 and theoretical2,15,23 grounds that inhibition plays a crucial role in the directional selectivity of elementary movement detectors (EMDs). For the first time, we have studied electrophysiological and behavioral changes induced in flies after application of picrotoxinin, an antagonist of GABA. The results show that inhibitory interactions play an important role in movement detection in flies. Furthermore, our behavioral results suggest that the computation of object position is based primarily on movement detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Mar 24


  • Behavior
  • Drosophila
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fly
  • Movement detection
  • Pharmacology
  • Picrotoxinin
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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