Chen Institute Women in Neuroscience (CWiN) Seminar: Bing Brunton, Moore Distinguished Scholar
Chen Institute Women in Neuroscience (CWiN) invite you to attend a seminar with Bing Brunton, Moore Distinguished Scholar in Biology and Biological Engineering, on Monday, April 25 at 12:00PM in Chen 100.
Title: Agile movement and embodied intelligence: Computational and comparative considerations
Abstract: I will tell a story in 3 parts with the broad theme of developing data-intensive approaches to connect brain and behavior. They all highlight my love of natural behaviors, dynamical systems, and open science. These stories feature several fun collaborations, including joint work with experimental neurobiologists, mathematicians, and engineers.
In particular, I will describe several research threads asking how insects perform dexterous, coordinated movements in uncertain, complex environments. This ability is enabled by the sensation of mechanical forces to inform rapid corrections in body orientation. Curiously, mechanoreceptor neurons do not faithfully report forces; instead, they are activated by specific time-histories of forcing. In a set of results that combine biomechanics, sparse sensing mathematical theory, and neural encoding, we find that, far from being a bug, neural encoding by biological sensors is a feature that acts as a transformation superbly matched to detect body rotation. Indeed, this encoding further enables surprisingly efficient detection using only a small handful of neurons at key locations. Our ongoing and future work explores biological principles that achieve agile movements, including understanding and designing neural-inspired sensors, actuators, and controllers.