Holger Krapp, Huai-Ti Lin Neural mechanisms of integrated visual information in dragonfly Lab based Computational and theoretical modelling;Neurotechnology and robotics; This project addresses an outstanding question in neuroscience: How are goal-directed motor actions and vision-based stabilization reflexes integrated to result in coordinated behaviour. In dragonflies the neural pathways supporting target detection and tracking are well studied, but the processing of optic flow supporting flight stability has hardly been investigated. Both visual tasks must be integrated along the visuomotor pathway enabling prey capture on the wing while maintaining stable flight. The project will combine biological experimentation and control engineering in a multidisciplinary approach. Its focus is the electrophysiological characterization of optic flow-processing interneurons in the dragonfly, using approaches successfully applied in dipteran flies (Krapp lab). Complemented by already published physiological data on target detection and tracking (Lin lab), the results will provide the experimental basis informing the development of models describing mechanisms underlying the integration of guidance and flight stability. The results of this project are expected to inspired novel vision-based control architectures applied to micro air vehicles (drones). It will benefit from parallel studies funded by BBSRC/ERC/DSTL and the US AFRL into bio-inspired control, multisensory integration and robotic implementations in the Krapp and Lin labs.
The ideal applicant will have programming skills, control engineering (ideally flight control), biological systems (nervous system/sensory systems/vision).