Dr. Alexander Borst, the director of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, will meet with students in the biotechnology choice program at Spanish River High School on January 12 to share information about his research. His presentation is entitled, “From the Cockpit of a Fly: How Visual Motion Information Is Processed.”
Dr. Borst and his team of researchers are trying to unlock the complexities of the human brain with its billions of neurons by studying a much smaller-scale brain – that of a fly. By comparison, a fly brain has approximately 100,000 nerve cells, and scientific techniques have recently advanced to finally allow for precise analysis of the neural circuits. Using this information, scientists are studying how motion information is computed in the visual system of a fly and how this information is decoded for navigation. These same basic principles of processing visual information are found in the human retina. Dr. Borst’s team has even recreated the brain circuits onboard a flying robot called “robofly.”
Dr. Alexander Borst is the director of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and heads the Systems and Computational Neurobiology Department in Martinsried, Germany. He is a member of some of Europe’s most prestigious scientific organizations.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to interact with a prominent scientist, learn about cutting edge research, and expand their knowledge of the field of biotechnology,” said Wendy Spielman, K-12 Science Manager, School District of Palm Beach County.
Eric Dybas, a Chemistry Teacher at Spanish River, stated: “One of the things we focus on in our academy is to make real world connections with research which allows the students to see the applications in science research and the relevancy to what we learn in school. These kinds of activities really bring alive the process of science,”
Dr. Borst is visiting Palm Beach County as part of the Max Planck Florida Institute’s lecture series. He will also be speaking at the Royal Poinciana Chapel Fellowship Hall on January 12 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm. His lecture is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call (561) 972-9020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.