Integration of polarized light and optic flow by path integration circuits in the bumblebee brain

Projekt: Avhandling



Insects are capable of performing complex navigational tasks using a limited number of neurons, making them ideal model organisms for understanding the neural basis of navigation. This project is embedded in a multidisciplinary project that goes beyond understanding these processes and is aimed at developing a novel type of insect brain inspired neuromorphic computer, using nanowire technology to create a computing platform that uses photons for inter-neuron communication. The aim is to develop an autonomous decision making circuit that is directly combined with sensors, all using the same nanowire platform and insect inspired neural nodes. We are directly exploiting functional, behavioral, and connectomics insights to guide computational model, hardware simulation and hardware development.
The aim of my PhD project is to gain insight into the processing of visual input upstream of the central decision making circuit in the insect brain (the central complex) that is used to implement the higher level roles in sensory integration and working memory of this brain region. We will use bumblebees as our model system, as it uses a range of sensory cues to perform complex navigation behaviors, and central-complex connectomics data is available to integrate hypotheses obtained from functional data. I will perform intracellular electrophysiological recordings from restrained and behaving bees, combined with computational modelling. These recordings will focus on two input pathways: The visual pathway providing a range of different compass cues to support head direction coding in the central complex, and the self-motion cues (visual and proprioceptive) that provide forward and rotational velocity signals to support path integration in the central complex.

Gällande start-/slutdatum2022/09/01 → …