Navigation Links
Study of dragonfly prey detection at MBL wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize
Date:3/14/2013

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MASS.Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido, a postdoctoral scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and her colleagues have been awarded a 2012 Cozzarelli Prize by the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Gonzalez-Bellido and colleagues were honored for the "scientific excellence and originality" of their study of prey detection and interception in dragonflies, which won in the category of "Biological Sciences." Out of more than 3,700 papers published in the journal last year, the editors selected Gonzalez-Bellido's paper and five others for the Cozzarelli Prize.

The Gonzalez-Bellido paper provides insight into basic visual-motor neural processing, and has implications for the development of "bioinspired" prosthetics for humans.

"I am honored to receive recognition for this work, for which we bridged the clinical and neuroethological fields, and developed new techniques," says Gonzalez-Bellido. "This award has provided me with fuel to keep up the hard work and further my research plans."

In order for a dragonfly to intercept its prey in midair (which dragonflies do with a 95% success rate), it needs to quickly track the prey and predict its future location. To understand how they undertake this complex task, Gonzalez-Bellido and her co-authors studied a small group of 16 motor neurons, called target-selective descending neurons (TSDNs), in the dragonfly Libellula luctuosa. These neurons, originally discovered by co-author Robert M. Olberg in the green darner dragonfly, originate in the brain and extend to the thoracic ganglia, where the neural signal is interpreted and translated into wing muscle movements. Surprisingly, the scientists found that this small group of neurons can detect the direction of target prey with high accuracy and reliability across 360 degrees, and that this information is relayed from the brain to the wing motor centers in population vector form.

In 1988, co-author Apostolos Georgopoulos and his colleagues showed in monkeys that from the activity of neurons in the motor cortex, the population vector algorithm can predict the monkey's upcoming arm movement. However, to achieve a more accurate prediction with this algorithm, upwards of 200 neurons were needed. Thus, the present discovery that a highly accurate neural code carrying information about target direction can be achieved with just 16 neurons is enlightening, and could have applications in the development of bioinspired robots. (Georgopolos is an MD-PhD at the University of Minnesota/Veterans Administration Medical Center who is interested in the development of prosthetics.)

Randy Schekman, PhD, editor-in-chief of PNAS, describes the papers chosen for the Cozzarelli Prize as being "of exceptional interest These papers are not merely technically superior but have had special impact and maybe novel techniques or novel applications of techniques, or very important discoveries."

To measure the voltage change in the dragonfly neurons, Gonzalez-Bellido used a classical technique called intracellular recording, which was originally developed by Kenneth S. (Kacy) Cole at the MBL and others. This technique, she says, provided very clear, high-quality data in the dragonfly, which she sees as a promising model for understanding the evolution of neural systems. "It's exciting that the same computation [the population vector algorithm] is used by monkeys and dragonflies for this task. Dragonflies belong to the most ancient groups of flying insects on earth, and they have changed little in 250 million years" she says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows how vitamin E can help prevent cancer
2. Autism Speaks trailblazer study -- Blocking cell distress signals can ease autism symptoms
3. Clot Buster Safe for Stroke Patients on Blood Thinners: Study
4. Study: Dynamic new software improves care of aging brain
5. Breast Cancer Radiation Has Long-Term Heart Effects: Study
6. Gene Therapy Helped Mice Withstand Arthritis: Study
7. Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Female Obesity Could Be Due to Less Participation in Household Tasks
8. Study: Steroid Abuse in Teens is Increasing; polyDNA Recommends Muxscle for Safe Muscle Building
9. Study: Catheter-based varicose vein treatments more cost-effective
10. Relatives Who Witness Loved Ones CPR Fare Better: Study
11. Spine MRIs Often Show Harmless Defects, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study of dragonfly prey detection at MBL wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Aesthetic ... facelift . Dr. Talei has come up with a proprietary technique that he calls ... lifts tissues that have dropped. For all ages, patients can expect to look refreshed, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... Negative Breast Cancer Conference from Sept. 18 to 20. , The two-day conference ... (TNBC) subtype with the goal of improving patients’ lives and eliminating racial breast ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... MD Now Urgent Care ... Now’s 28th facility overall and marks the urgent care center's eighth location in Miami-Dade ... of The Falls shopping mall. The new clinic offers a wide array of ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... Private Flood Insurance offerings. With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recent update ... the United States. In 2012, the Biggert-Waters Act was enacted to reflect the ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ulster University, Magee Campus in Northern Ireland is hosting The ... to present to graduate students exciting new and innovative hope research based on iFred’s ... The Health Improvement Service of the Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT) in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/10/2017)... , June 9, 2017  Shane K. Burchfield, DPM, is recognized ... excellence as a Podiatrist in Alabama . ... Family First Foot Care. He brings over 20 years of experience, ... management and healthcare, to his role. ... Care, PC is pleased to welcome you to his ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... June 8, 2017  StatLab Medical Products ... and manufacturer of diagnostic supplies for the ... Cressey & Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), ... a growth-focused investment in the Company. Cressey ... position from selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... OMAHA, Neb. , June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... chair in the United States ... chair that helps a fallen person up to an ... is easily assembled and operated by one assistant and ... hand. It is simple enough that a child can ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: