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Monday, October 12, 2015 - 12:00pm

Class of '62 Auditorium (John Morgan Building)

Pietro Perona
Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computation and Neural Systems
California Institute of Technology

A computational approach to ethology

The brain's main job is to control behavior. In order to understand the brain we need to be able to measure and understand behavior. I will describe our efforts in building automated systems to measure and analyze the trajectories of animal models such as fruit fly Drosophila and mouse. Based on our data, I will argue that behavior is a multi-scale phenomenon that requires descriptions at at least three levels of resolution: movemes, actions and activities. I will give examples of applications of the automated analysis of behavior to understanding aggression in mouse and Drosophila and navigation in Drosophila. I will speculate on future directions including establishing causal links between brain activity and behavior.

Joint work with D. Anderson and M. Dickinson.

This talk is part of the MINS Year of Cognition speaker series.