Mandyam V. Srinivasan
|Year of election:||2017|
|Section:||Organismic and Evolutionary Biology|
CV Mandyam Srinivasan - English (PDF)
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Main areas of research: Biology, neurophysiology, behavioural biology, orientation, visual neuroscience
Mandyam V. Srinivasan is an Indian-born neurobiologist and behavioural scientist. He studies the behaviour of flying insects like honeybees including the ways in which they process visual stimuli. This biologist has shown how insects are able to carry out complex orientation and memory tasks despite having tiny brains that comprise only a fraction of the nerve cells found in the human brain.
Srinivasan was quick to recognize the enormous perceptual capabilities of a bee´s brain although it comprises only a million nerve cells. The small brain size does not, however, prevent the social and nectar collecting honeybees from performing extraordinarily complex feats of orientation and communication.
Srinivasan demonstrated that bees are able to find their way in labyrinths, are able to remember smells and associate them with food sources as well as to warn fellow bees of dangers. Another peculiarity of honeybees spurred the research further: These flying insects can be fed by hand and take to training. This enabled Srinivasan to show how the honeybee´s relatively small neural network functions in the carrying out of complex orientation and communication tasks.
The question of whether bees have a kind of consciousness represents another area of inquiry for this behavioural biologist. Until now it has been assumed that reflexes control insect behaviour, which means that a stimulus triggers a specific reaction. From Srinivasan’s work, there is every indication that bees could possess higher levels of perception and cognition than previously assumed.
Srinivasan’s research into the navigational capacities of honeybees has also led to the design of novel, biologically inspired algorithms for the guidance of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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|Phone||0345 - 47 239 - 122|
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