Cells that show where things are going

IMAGE: Clarity in the cellular thicket is shown. Four classes of nerve cell (Tm9, 4, 1 and 2) are instrumental in calculating directionally selective signals in T5 neurons (yellow). view more Credit: MPI of Neurobiology This news release is available in German. The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey or, as humans in a modern world, cross a road safely. However, the direction of motion is not explicitly represented at the level of the photoreceptors but rather must be calculated by subsequent layers of nerve cells. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now discovered that, in fruit flies, four classes of nerve cell are involved in…


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