May 18, 2021

Binocular Mirror-Symmetric Microsaccadic Sampling of Hyperacute 3D-Vision

<p>Neural mechanisms behind stereopsis, which requires simultaneous disparity inputs from two eyes, have remained mysterious. Here we show how ultrafast mirror-symmetric photomechanical contractions in the frontal forward-facing left and right eye photoreceptors give Drosophila super-resolution 3D-vision. By interlinking multiscale in vivo assays with multiscale simulations, we reveal how these photoreceptor microsaccades - by verging, diverging and narrowing the eyes' overlapping receptive fields - channel depth information, as phasic binocular image motion disparity signals in time. We further show how peripherally, outside stereopsis, microsaccadic sampling tracks a forward flying fly's optic flow field to better resolve the world in motion. These results change our understanding of how insect compound eyes work and suggest a general dynamic stereo-information sampling strategy for animals, robots and sensors.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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