A common insect is playing a key role in Flinders University researchers’ long-term goal to help develop a bionic eye.
Associate Professor Karin Nordström and her team will use a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to develop a ‘virtual reality arena’ for hoverflies – an insect often seen hovering or feeding on nectar in flowers.
The work involves placing hoverflies in front of gaming computers to record what the fly is seeing and how neurons in the brain or the nerve cord (the fly spine) respond to visual stimuli, as well as how the hoverfly responds behaviourally.
The cutting-edge project aims to increase the understanding of visual processing, which is important for the research field’s long-term aim of developing bionic eyes.
The knowledge also has huge benefits for advancing technology in drones, driverless cars and other automatic vehicle systems.
This research is made possible thanks to a generous supporter and donations from the community.
Project title: Development of a virtual reality arena for motion vision research
Lead researcher: Associate Professor Karin Nordström
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