Simple models might be useful for the study of cognition. Hence, a wonderful model to uncover mechanisms of behavioural repertoire is the bee brain (honey bee and bumble bee predominantly). Bees possess a mini-brain with fewer than a million neurons, and yet exhibit impressive capabilities in learning and memory (in various sensory modalities: vision, olfaction and gustation). Unravelling the mysteries behind bee cognition by exploring the underlying neural mechanisms represents a very exciting challenge.
I am broadly interested in cognitive neuroscience, ecology, learning and memory. My research focuses on the behavioural aspects of sensory ecology and learning mechanisms in the bee brain.
During my PhD, I was particularly interested about 'how' bees solve complex cognitive tasks (example: conceptual learning tasks). I 3D tracked bees' trajectories engaged in a variety of visual puzzle to understand how stereotypical of the bee body movements (active vision) in front of a pattern helped the bee recognise a rewarding pattern from an unrewarding one. My first post-doc created a bridge between the behavioural performances of bees and their visual anatomy, their ecology. Now aided by Prof. Barron, I am combining previously learnt techniques, modelling and new collaborations in an effort to understand how visual resolution, neural encoding and ecology shapes the bee's visual field while performing complex object recognition.
Searching for a more permanent position in Europe.