Looks like you are using an old version of Internet Explorer - Please update your browser
ScienceDaily: “It Takes Nerves for Flies to Keep a Level Head” No wonder houseflies can be so difficult to target: their guidance-control systems are sophisticated enough that they may inspire improvements to control systems in autonomous air vehicles.
Researchers at Imperial College London have analyzed the nerve connections in the brains of flies that help them maintain a stable gaze during their rapid maneuvering, which in turn prevents them from colliding with obstacles in mid flight.
The feat is accomplished by the close interaction of two groups of neurons.
According to an Imperial College press release, by keeping a constant gaze even while its body changes direction, a fly is able to more efficiently process visual information and modify their movements accordingly.
The feat is accomplished by the close interaction of two groups of neurons. One group receives input from a fly’s eyes, generating electrical signals that inform the fly of its movements; the signals then continue on to the second group of neurons, which update the fly’s neck muscles to stabilize its head (and therefore its line of sight).
The news release explains that, according to lead researcher Holger Krapp, “the pathway from visual signal to head movement is ingeniously designed: it uses information from both eyes, is direct, and does not require heavy computing power” (our emphasis).
Krapp added, “Anyone who has watched one fly chasing another at incredibly high speed, without crashing or bumping into anything, can appreciate the high-end flight performance of these animals.” He also stated that flies can update and process visual information more than ten times faster than humans—no wonder they’re so hard to swat!
The release also said the research may lead to improvements in creating unmanned aerial vehicles that operate autonomously, without the need for remote guidance.
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.