Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Seeing the colored light: Bee brains open way for better cameras

05.07.2017

Researchers discover totally new mechanism for processing color information

New research into the way that honeybees see colour could pave the way for more accurate cameras in phones, drones and robots.


3-D representation of ocellar S-neuron projecting into the inner layer of the medulla in the honeybee brain.

Credit: Adrian Dyer, RMIT

Identifying colour in complex outdoor environments is extremely difficult because the colour of light is continuously changing.

Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, looked to see how honeybees solve this problem and discovered a totally new mechanism for processing colour information.

... more about:
»Dyer »cameras »honeybees

The results of the work by academics at RMIT University, Monash University, University of Melbourne and Deakin University were published today in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The project, supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, was coordinated by Associate Professor Adrian Dyer at RMIT, who has been working with Professor Marcello Rosa at Monash University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function to solve this classic problem of how colour vision works.

Dyer said: "For a digital system like a camera or a robot the colour of objects often changes. Currently this problem is dealt with by assuming the world is, on average, grey.

"This means it's difficult to identify the true colour of ripe fruit or mineral rich sands, limiting outdoor colour imaging solutions by drones, for example."

Bees have three extra eyes (ocelli) on the top of their head that look directly at the sky, and lead author Dr Jair Garcia (RMIT) and a multidisciplinary team discovered that the ocelli contain two colour receptors that are perfectly tuned for sensing the colour of ambient light.

Bees also have two main compound eyes that directly sense flower colours from the environment.

Garcia said: "Physics suggests the ocelli sensing of the colour of light could allow a brain to discount the naturally coloured illumination which would otherwise confuse colour perception.

"But for this to be true the information from the ocelli would have to be integrated with colours seen by the compound eyes."

To test if this happened, Dr Yu-Shan Hung (University of Melbourne) mapped the neural tracings from ocelli and showed neural projection did indeed feed to the key colour processing areas of the bee brain.

Professor Andrew Greentree from the ARC Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at RMIT said: "It is rare that physics, biology, neuro-anatomy and ecology all fit together, but here we have it."

The system closely predicts previously observed behaviour of bees foraging in complex environments and provides a new solution for illuminations as diverse as natural forest light, sunlight, or shade.

Dyer said: "We're using bio-inspired solutions from nature to tackle key problems in visual perception. This discovery on colour constancy can be implemented into imaging systems to enable accurate colour interpretation."

Professor John Endler (Deakin University) said: "The discover provides a superb solution to a classic problem and makes colour constancy computationally inexpensive."

Rosa said: "The strength of this study lies in the combination of modelling, behavioural analysis and neuro-anatomy. It shows how modern, interdisciplinary neuroscience can point to an elegant solution to classical problems in vision."

###

For interviews, images and high-res video contact:

RMIT University: David Glanz, +61 3 9925 2807 or + 61 438 547 723 or david.glanz@rmit.edu.au.
Monash University: Ruth Schneider, +61 3 9902 0892 or ruth.schneider@monash.edu.
Deakin University: Elise Snashall-Woodhams, +61 3 9246 8593 or e.snashallwoodhams@deakin.edu.au.

Media Contact

Adrian Dyer
adrian.dyer@rmit.edu.au
61-413-387-401

 @RMIT

http://www.rmit.edu.au 

Adrian Dyer | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Dyer cameras honeybees

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>