Guo, AK (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, State Key Lab Neurosci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Visual cognition, as one of the fundamental aspects of cognitive neuroscience, is generally associated with high-order brain functions in animals and human. Drosophila, as a model organism, shares certain features of visual cognition in common with mammals at the genetic, molecular, cellular, and even higher behavioral levels. From learning and memory to decision making, Drosophila covers a broad spectrum of higher cognitive behaviors beyond what we had expected. Armed with powerful tools of genetic manipulation in Drosophila, an increasing number of studies have been conducted in order to elucidate the neural circuit mechanisms underlying these cognitive behaviors from a genes-brain-behavior perspective. The goal of this review is to integrate the most important studies on visual cognition in Drosophila carried out in mainland China during the last decade into a body of knowledge encompassing both the basic neural operations and circuitry of higher brain function in Drosophila. Here, we consider a series of the higher cognitive behaviors beyond learning and memory, such as visual pattern recognition, feature and context generalization, different feature memory traces, salience-based decision, attention-like behavior, and cross-modal leaning and memory. We discuss the possible general gain-gating mechanism implementing by dopamine - mushroom body circuit in fly's visual cognition. We hope that our brief review on this aspect will inspire further study on visual cognition in flies, or even beyond.