Attention in drosophila

van Swinderen, Bruno (2011) Attention in drosophila. International Review of Neurobiology, 99 51-85. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-387003-2.00003-3


Author van Swinderen, Bruno
Title Attention in drosophila
Journal name International Review of Neurobiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0074-7742
2162-5514
ISBN 9780123870032
9780123870193
Publication date 2011-09-20
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-387003-2.00003-3
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 99
Start page 51
End page 85
Total pages 35
Editor Nigel Atkinson
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 2728 Clinical Neurology
2804 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Abstract As bluntly summarized by a psychologist over a century ago, everyone knows what attention is [. James (1890). The Principles of Psychology]. Attention describes our capacity to focus perception on one or a group of related stimuli while filtering out irrelevant stimuli. The ease we have in recognizing this astounding capacity in ourselves is matched by a surprising difficulty in identifying it in others, and this is especially the case for measuring attention in other animals. Identifying and measuring attention-like processes in simple animals such as flies requires, to some extent, even more rigor than asking the same question for our closer animal relatives, such as apes and monkeys. This is because flies have completely different brains than humans do, so to study attention in these creatures one must rely purely on operational or behavioral measures rather than comparative neuroanatomy. There is a long history of using sophisticated behavioral paradigms to study visual responses in Drosophila melanogaster, and these studies have often provided early evidence of attention-like processes in flies. More recently, these fly paradigms have been applied to measuring visual attention directly, and the combination of electrophysiology with these preparations has provided insight into how a fly might pay attention. Together with more efficient methods for measuring some aspects of attention, such as stimulus suppression, these approaches should begin to uncover how visual attention might work in a small brain.
Formatted abstract
As bluntly summarized by a psychologist over a century ago, everyone knows what attention is [James (1890). The Principles of Psychology]. Attention describes our capacity to focus perception on one or a group of related stimuli while filtering out irrelevant stimuli. The ease we have in recognizing this astounding capacity in ourselves is matched by a surprising difficulty in identifying it in others, and this is especially the case for measuring attention in other animals. Identifying and measuring attention-like processes in simple animals such as flies requires, to some extent, even more rigor than asking the same question for our closer animal relatives, such as apes and monkeys. This is because flies have completely different brains than humans do, so to study attention in these creatures one must rely purely on operational or behavioral measures rather than comparative neuroanatomy. There is a long history of using sophisticated behavioral paradigms to study visual responses in Drosophila melanogaster, and these studies have often provided early evidence of attention-like processes in flies. More recently, these fly paradigms have been applied to measuring visual attention directly, and the combination of electrophysiology with these preparations has provided insight into how a fly might pay attention. Together with more efficient methods for measuring some aspects of attention, such as stimulus suppression, these approaches should begin to uncover how visual attention might work in a small brain.
Keyword Attention
Drosophila
Neuroanatomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue: "Recent advances in the use of Drosophila in neurobiology and neurodegeneration". Book series, Available online 7 September 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 22 Oct 2011, 00:30:51 EST by Bruno Van Swinderen on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute