For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

The Neurobiology of Visually-Guided Collision Avoidance Behaviors

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar


The Neurobiology of Visually-Guided Collision Avoidance Behaviors

Fabrizio Gabbiani, PhD
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
George R. Brown School of Engineering
Department of Neuroscience
Baylor College of Medicine
Rice University

Understanding how the brain processes sensory information in real-time to generate meaningful behaviors is one of the outstanding contemporary challenges of neuroscience. Visually guided collision avoidance behaviors are nearly universal in animals endowed with spatial vision and offer a favorable opportunity to address this question. Visually-guided collision avoidance behaviors are far from being stereotypical reflexes as originally thought. Their significance reaches beyond neurobiology as attested by the increasing interest in autonomous robot navigation. In the visual domain, collision avoidance requires intricate neural computations to extract the visual signature of an impending collision, to achieve invariance with respect to irrelevant features of a colliding object, and to factor out other nuisances of visual scenes.

This talk will summarize the current understanding of their generation at the level of neural networks, single neurons and their ion channels. The focus will be on a model system that has proven particularly suitable for this purpose, the locust brain, but will also tie the results learned in this preparation to studies carried out in a wide range of other species.

Fabrizio Gabbiani, PhD, was educated at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich Switzerland, where he received a diploma in Physics and Mathematics before earning a PhD in Mathematical Physics. He then spent several years at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena California, before joining Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

Dr. Gabbiani's lab has been working on Computational Neuroscience and Vision at BCM and Rice University for the past 20 years. He is the recipient of a Humboldt Research Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and co-author of the book Mathematics for Neuroscientists.

Contact Information

Lisa Williams

Remind me about this event. Notify me if this event changes. Add this event to my personal calendar.


Remote Webinar


  • Everyone