Visually targeted reaching in horse-head grasshoppers

Niven, Jeremy E, Ott, Swidbert R and Rogers, Stephen M (2012) Visually targeted reaching in horse-head grasshoppers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279. pp. 3697-3705. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Visually targeted reaching to a specific object is a demanding neuronal task requiring the translation of the location of the object from a two-dimensionsal set of retinotopic coordinates to a motor pattern that guides a limb to that point in three-dimensional space. This sensorimotor transformation has been intensively studied in mammals, but was not previously thought to occur in animals with smaller nervous systems such as insects. We studied horse-head grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Proscopididae) crossing gaps and found that visual inputs are sufficient for them to target their forelimbs to a foothold on the opposite side of the gap. High-speed video analysis showed that these reaches were targeted accurately and directly to footholds at different locations within the visual field through changes in forelimb trajectory and body position, and did not involve stereotyped searching movements. The proscopids estimated distant locations using peering to generate motion parallax, a monocular distance cue, but appeared to use binocular visual cues to estimate the distance of nearby footholds. Following occlusion of regions of binocular overlap, the proscopids resorted to peering to target reaches even to nearby locations. Monocular cues were sufficient for accurate targeting of the ipsilateral but not the contralateral forelimb. Thus, proscopids are capable not only of the sensorimotor transformations necessary for visually targeted reaching with their forelimbs but also of flexibly using different visual cues to target reaches. © 2012 The Royal Society.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Animals, Cues, Extremities, Grasshoppers, Locomotion, Male, Nervous System Physiological Phenomena, Psychomotor Performance, Vision, Ocular
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 10:50
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2020 16:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/92056

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