Several classes of interneurons in the optic lobes and brain of the insects, Musca domestica and Calliphora phaenicia, have been studied in detail. Visual stimuli have been categorized on the basis of the properties of intensity, form, and motion. Response characteristics of the classes of neural units are described with respect to these three classes of visual stimuli. While those units that detect motion in select directions have a tonic response, form detection units have a phasic response only. Through correlation of the responses of these classes with visual stimuli, it is shown that these units integrate the responses of other units which have very small visual fields. The small-field units are presumed to integrate the output of a small group of adjacent retinula cells and to respond differentially to intensity, form, and motion. It is shown that the response of both form and motion detection units is independent of the direction of pattern intensity gradation. As a consequence of this independence, it is further shown that failure to detect motion properly must start at a spatial wavelength four times the effective sampling station spacing rather than twice as has been predicted previously.

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