Small Brains, Smart Minds: Vision, Navigation, and ‘Cognition’ in Honeybees and Applications to Robotics
Professor Mandyan V. Srinivasan
Anyone who has watched a fly make a flawless landing on the rim of a teacup, or marvelled at a honeybee speeding home after collecting nectar from a flower patch several kilometres away, would know that insects possess visual systems that are fast, reliable and accurate. Insects cope remarkably well with their world, despite possessing a brain that carries fewer than 0.01% as many neurons as ours does. This talk will describe research aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying visual perception, navigation, learning, memory and â€œcognitionâ€ in honeybees. It will also describe opportunities for incorporating insect-inspired principles into the design of novel, autonomous robots.Srinivasan is Professor of Visual Neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute of the University of Queensland.He holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Bangalore University, a Master’s degree in Electronics from the Indian Institute of Science, a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, and a D.Sc. in Neuroethology from the Australian National University. His research has been recognized by election to the Fellowships of the Australian Academy of Science, of the Royal Society of London, and of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the award of an Inaugural Federation Fellowship of the Australian Resecarch Council, and the 2006 Prime Ministerâ€™s Science Prize.
Srinivasan’s research focuses on the principles of visual processing, perception and cognition in simple natural systems, and on the application of these principles to machine vision and robotics.