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Visually driven chaining of elementary swim patterns into a goal-directed motor sequence: a virtual reality study of zebrafish prey capture

Trivedi, CA; Bollmann, JH; (2013) Visually driven chaining of elementary swim patterns into a goal-directed motor sequence: a virtual reality study of zebrafish prey capture. Frontiers in Neural Circuits , 7 , Article 86. 10.3389/fncir.2013.00086. Green open access

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Abstract

Prey capture behavior critically depends on rapid processing of sensory input in order to track, approach, and catch the target. When using vision, the nervous system faces the problem of extracting relevant information from a continuous stream of input in order to detect and categorize visible objects as potential prey and to select appropriate motor patterns for approach. For prey capture, many vertebrates exhibit intermittent locomotion, in which discrete motor patterns are chained into a sequence, interrupted by short periods of rest. Here, using high-speed recordings of full-length prey capture sequences performed by freely swimming zebrafish larvae in the presence of a single paramecium, we provide a detailed kinematic analysis of first and subsequent swim bouts during prey capture. Using Fourier analysis, we show that individual swim bouts represent an elementary motor pattern. Changes in orientation are directed toward the target on a graded scale and are implemented by an asymmetric tail bend component superimposed on this basic motor pattern. To further investigate the role of visual feedback on the efficiency and speed of this complex behavior, we developed a closed-loop virtual reality setup in which minimally restrained larvae recapitulated interconnected swim patterns closely resembling those observed during prey capture in freely moving fish. Systematic variation of stimulus properties showed that prey capture is initiated within a narrow range of stimulus size and velocity. Furthermore, variations in the delay and location of swim triggered visual feedback showed that the reaction time of secondary and later swims is shorter for stimuli that appear within a narrow spatio-temporal window following a swim. This suggests that the larva may generate an expectation of stimulus position, which enables accelerated motor sequencing if the expectation is met by appropriate visual feedback.

Type: Article
Title: Visually driven chaining of elementary swim patterns into a goal-directed motor sequence: a virtual reality study of zebrafish prey capture
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00086
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncir.2013.00086
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2013 Trivedi and Bollmann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493187
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