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Navigating a Technicolor World: What the Fly's Visual System Tells Us about Visually-Guided Behavior

1/13/2011 | German House New York

Navigating a Technicolor World: What the Fly’s Visual System Tells Us about Visually-Guided Behavior

Professors Axel Borst and Claude Desplan discussed the principles of processing and decoding motion information and color cues in the fly brain.

In the recent New York Times article "Decoding the Human Brain, With Help From a Fly," Nicolas Wade writes that biologists see the atlas of the fly brain as a first step toward understanding the human brain.

On January 13, 2011, Prof. Axel Borst (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany) and Prof. Claude Desplan (New York University) discussed the principles of processing and decoding motion information and color cues in the fly brain at the GCRI.

While Prof. Borst’s research focuses on decoding motion information and how it is used for navigation and flight control in the cockpit of a fly, Prof. Desplan’s work is related to color vision. Both Prof. Borst and Prof. Desplan have identified and manipulated neurons involved in response to visual stimulation. Through one of Prof. Desplan’s postdocs, both scientists discovered a strong overlap between neurons involved in the fly’s visual motion and color perceptions. Their collaboration started three months ago, and after their joint appearance at the GCRI, both professors will send postdocs to each other’s laboratories.

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  • Featured Speakers

    • Dr. Claudia Hillinger (Welcome Remarks)

      Vice President for Institute Development, Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI)

    • Dr. Joann Halpern (Welcome Remarks)

      Director, German Center for Research and Innovation

    • Prof. Axel Borst

      Director of Systems and Computational Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology

    • Prof. Claude Desplan

      Silver Professor of Biology, New York University (NYU), Affiliate Member, NYU Center for Neural Science