University of Oulu

Zhukovskaya, M., Novikova, E., Saari, P. et al. J Comp Physiol A (2017) 203: 1007.

Behavioral responses to visual overstimulation in the cockroach Periplaneta americana L.

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Author: Zhukovskaya, Marianna1; Novikova, Ekaterina1; Saari, Paulus2;
Organizations: 1Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 44 Thorez Pr., Saint Petersburg 194223, Russia
2Faculty of Science, Nano and Molecular Materials Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-01-28


In the visual systems of insects, different types of photoreceptors contribute to specialized visual channels that mediate distinct functions and behaviors. Large compound eyes of Periplaneta americana contain photoreceptors of two spectral classes, broadband green-sensitive photoreceptors and narrow-band UV-sensitive photoreceptors. Here, we investigated how visual stimulation by UV and green light affects locomotor, resting, and grooming behaviors in P. americana under conditions when light avoidance is not possible. We show that green but not UV light stimulates locomotor activity, inducing paradoxical positive masking. Duration of resting and grooming decreased with increasing light intensity, consistent with development of behavioral stress in response to visual overstimulation. A reaction of full immobility is described under UV light and at higher intensities of green light, with relative periods of immobility and grooming strongly negatively correlated. Low-intensity UV was more effective than low-intensity green light in suppressing grooming and inducing immobility. Our results suggest that locomotor activity in P. americana is mainly regulated by green-sensitive photoreceptors, and that dim UV light can trigger behavioral immobility, whereas both wavelengths induce stress-like reactions at high intensities. Considering the intrinsic UV sensitivity of green-sensitive photoreceptors, the contrasting behavioral responses indicate antagonistic interactions between UV and green visual channels.

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Series: Journal of comparative physiology. A
ISSN: 0340-7594
ISSN-E: 1432-1351
ISSN-L: 0340-7594
Volume: 203
Issue: 12
Pages: 1007 - 1015
DOI: 10.1007/s00359-017-1210-8
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
3112 Neurosciences
Funding: The study was supported by Russian Federation State budget Grant # 01201351571 (2013-2017).
Copyright information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in J Comp Physiol A. The final authenticated version is available online at: