For the first time, researchers from the University’s Discipline of Physiology have worked out how insects judge the speed of moving objects.
It appears that insect brain cells have additional mechanisms which can calculate how to make a controlled landing on a flower or reach a food source. This ability only works in a natural setting.
In a paper published in the international journal Current Biology, lead author David O’Carroll says insects have well identified brain cells dedicated to analysing visual motion, which are very similar to humans.
“It was previously not understood how a tiny insect brain could use multiple brain pathways to judge motion,” Associate Professor O’Carroll says.
“We have known for many years that they can estimate the direction of moving objects but until now we have not known how they judge speed like other animals, including humans.
“It appears they take into account different light patterns in nature, such as a foggy morning or a sunny day, and their brain cells adapt accordingly.
“This mechanism in their brain enables them to distinguish moving objects in a wide variety of natural settings. It also highlights the fact that single neurons can exhibit extremely complex behaviour.”
Assoc. Prof. O’Carroll co-authored the paper with Paul Barnett, a Physiology PhD student at the University of Adelaide, and Dr Karin Nördstrom, a former Physiology Postdoctoral Fellow at Adelaide who is now based at Uppsala University in Sweden.
Their specific research is focused on how the brain makes sense of the world viewed by the eye, using the insect visual system as an important model.
“Insects are ideal for our research because their visual system accounts for as much as 30% of their mass, far more than most other animals,” Assoc. Prof. O’Carroll says.
His team is collaborating with industry to develop artificial eyes in robots, mimicking human and insect vision.Associate Professor David O'Carroll
Assoc. Prof. O’Carroll | Newswise Science News
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences