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Published on Aug 10, 2010
Flying animals need to control their altitude as well as their horizontal movement. Although much is known about the visual reflexes that regulate horizontal motion, little is known about the sensory-motor mechanisms used for altitude control. As described in this video abstract, Dickinson and colleagues used a 3D virtual reality environment to study Drosophila flight and found that flies use lateral visual cues to regulate altitude, not changes in the speed of ground motion as previously thought.