Professor, The University of British Columbia
Encoding of optic flow in Anna's hummingbirds, zebra finches, and pigeons
Abstract: As we move through the world, we perceive the motions of surfaces and objects across our retina, a visual signal known as optic flow. Studies of human behaviour reveal that optic flow is used for controlling virtually all aspects of locomotion such as walking, navigating through cluttered environments, and when driving motor vehicles. Despite the importance of optic flow for everyday activity, there are major gaps in our understanding of how these signals are processed in the brain to allow for coordinated movement. We are investigating how optic flow is used by small birds to guide their flight through different types of environments. We also study how optic flow signals are processed from the midbrain to the cerebellum, in two distinct circuits for locomotion control that are preserved across vertebrates.
Host: Andrew Biewener