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Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


Stereo vision and prey detection in the praying mantis

15th October 2020, 13:00, Via Zoom, Dr Vivek Nityananda, Newcastle University, UK

Host: Dr Lena Riabinina

Student/Postdoc host: Dr Matthew Wheelwright

About the speaker:

Dr Nityananda is a Group leader and BBSRC David Phillips Fellow at the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution and the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University. Vivek is interested in ecology, evolution, cognition and sensory behaviour and addresses these questions in insects, currently praying mantises and bumblebees. His recent work has received a lot of media coverage, for example here. You can read more about Vivek's research and see his art, and don't forget about the Job opportunities in Vivek's lab!

Stereo vision and prey detection in the praying mantis

Praying mantises are the only insects known to have stereo vision. We used a comparative approach to determine how the mechanisms underlying stereopsis in mantises differ from those underlying primate stereo vision. By testing mantises with virtual 3D targets we showed that mantis stereopsis enables prey capture in complex scenes but relies on a different mechanism to the cross-correlation of eye images seen in primates. My talk will further discuss how stereopsis combines with second-order motion perception to enable the detection of camouflaged prey by mantises. Finally the talk will highlight the benefits of a comparative approach towards understanding visual cognition more generally.

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