Self-generated vision inputs suppressed
That's because the brain can tell if visual motion is self-generated, canceling out information that would otherwise make us feel -- and act -- as if the world was whirling around us. It's an astonishing bit of neural computation -- one that Maimon and his team are attempting to decode in fruit flies. And the results of their most recent investigations, published in Cell on January 5, provide fresh insights into how the brain processes visual information to control behavior.
Each time you shift your gaze (and you do so several times a second), the brain sends a command to the eyes to move. But a copy of that command is issued internally to the brain's own visual system, as well.
This allows the brain to predict that it is about to receive a flood of visual information resulting from the body's own movement -- and to compensate for it by suppressing or enhancing the activity of particular neurons.