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Universität Bielefeld | Fakultät für Biologie
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Welcome to the Department of Neurobiology

Humans and animals operate - with seemingly little effort - in complex and ever changing environments. This ability requires their brains to process flexibly the information about the environment provided by their sensory systems and to generate appropriate behaviour. With respect to autonomous behaviour not only humans, but also tiny animals such as insects are much superior to any artificial system. They solve their often complex tasks highly efficiently with modest computational expenditure.

Therefore, we want to elucidate the computational principles, down to the level of neurons and neural networks, that allow insects to generate visually guided behaviour in complex cluttered environments. Our analysis combines a broad spectrum of experimental approaches at various levels of organisation, ranging from the biophysical properties of neurons and neuronal circuits to visually guided behaviour.

Insight into the true nature of a behavioural problem is often facilitated by the implementation of the computational principles presumed to underlie the behaviour in a simulated agent or an embodied robot. Therefore, we employ also a variety of modelling approaches to test the explanatory power of experimentally established hypotheses. As a group affiliated not only with the Faculty of Biology, but also with the Centre of Excellence 'Cognitive Interaction Technology' (CITEC) we cooperate with other CITEC colleagues in the fields of computer science, robotics, and mechatronics to assess, in addition, how the computational principles of biological visual systems can be incorporated into artifical systems that may come close to the performance of their biological counterparts.