ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-150325-21
Whole-field visual motion drives swimming in larval zebrafish via a stochastic process
Portugues, R., Haesemeyer, M., Blum, M.L., Engert, F.
Date: 2015
Source: The Journal of experimental biology   218(Pt 9): 1433-43 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Engert, Florian
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Swimming*
  • Visual Fields*
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 25792753 Full text @ J. Exp. Biol.
Caudo-rostral whole-field visual motion elicits forward locomotion in many organisms, including larval zebrafish. Here we investigate the dependence on the latency to initiate this forward swimming as a function of the speed of the visual motion: we find that it is highly dependent on the speed for slow speeds (<10 mm/s) and then plateaus for higher values. Typical latencies are >1.5 seconds, much longer than neuronal transduction processes. What mechanisms underlie these long latencies? We propose two alternative, biologically inspired models that could account for this latency to initiate swimming: an integrate and fire model, which is history dependent, and a stochastic Poisson model, which has no history dependence. We use these models to predict the behavior of larvae when presented with whole-field motion of varying speed and find that the stochastic process shows better agreement with the experimental data. Finally, we discuss possible neuronal implementations of these models.