Development of Concurrent Retinotopic Maps in the Fly Motion Detection Circuit

Filipe Pinto-Teixeira, Clara Koo, Anthony Michael Rossi, Nathalie Neriec, Claire Bertet, Xin Li, Alberto Del-Valle-Rodriguez, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding how complex brain wiring is produced during development is a daunting challenge. In Drosophila, information from 800 retinal ommatidia is processed in distinct brain neuropiles, each subdivided into 800 matching retinotopic columns. The lobula plate comprises four T4 and four T5 neuronal subtypes. T4 neurons respond to bright edge motion, whereas T5 neurons respond to dark edge motion. Each is tuned to motion in one of the four cardinal directions, effectively establishing eight concurrent retinotopic maps to support wide-field motion. We discovered a mode of neurogenesis where two sequential Notch-dependent divisions of either a horizontal or a vertical progenitor produce matching sets of two T4 and two T5 neurons retinotopically coincident with pairwise opposite direction selectivity. We show that retinotopy is an emergent characteristic of this neurogenic program and derives directly from neuronal birth order. Our work illustrates how simple developmental rules can implement complex neural organization. The circuit for motion perception emerges out of the developmental program that specifies the identity of neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-498.e11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018


  • Drosophila
  • Notch
  • direction selective neurons
  • neural connectivity
  • neural development
  • optic lobe
  • pattern formation
  • retinotopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of Concurrent Retinotopic Maps in the Fly Motion Detection Circuit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this