Monday August 27 2007

Small Brains, Smart Minds: Vision, Navigation, and ‘Cognition’ in Honeybees and Applications to Robotics

Professor Mandyan V. Srinivasan

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 “cognition” 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 Minister’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.

  • Time: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (Doors Open at 6 pm)
  • Venue: Ithaca auditorium, City Hall
  • Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies following the talk, and Srini will be available to answer any questions.
  • Questions? Contact Joel (0411 267 044 or
  • Professor Mandyam V. Srinivasan can be contacted at copy of Professor Srinivasan’s PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here (PDF 4.41MB)