How a fly’s brain calculates its position in space

Navigation doesn’t always go as planned — a lesson that flies learn the hard way, when a strong headwind shunts them backward in defiance of their forward-beating wings.

Fish swimming upriver, crabs scuttling sideways, and even humans hanging a left while looking to the right contend with similar challenges.

How the brain calculates an animal’s direction of travel when the head is pointing one way and the body is moving in another is a mystery in neuroscience.

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