University of Cambridge > > Foster Talks > A Deadly Game of “Tag”: Insect Aerial Predation as a Model for Sensorimotor Processing

A Deadly Game of “Tag”: Insect Aerial Predation as a Model for Sensorimotor Processing

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First Foster Talk for this academic year, organised by the Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience

In order to intercept a moving ball, we must detect it as a suitable target, extract the relevant information, process it quickly and later decode it to execute the motor commands that will take us to the correct place at the right time. How does a neural system drive these steps? And is the behavioural strategy a reflection of optimised performance for a set of given conditions?

Dr. Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido’s work aims to answer these questions using visually guided insect predators as models. Predation is innate, robust, reproducible, crucial for survival and demands high performance for this sensorimotor task. Moreover, within the vast diversity of invertebrate species, several predatory groups allow us to understand how performance is linked to animal size and limited by properties of biological materials and the environment.

In this talk, Dr. Gonzalez-Bellido will explore the performance of killer flies, dragonflies and fruit flies, highlighting how performance gains have been achieved in the retina, the descending cord and behavioural strategy.

More details about her fascinating work can be found here:

This event is open to all, including non-Department members. Free snacks and drinks will be provided after the event.

This talk is part of the Foster Talks series.

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