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How simple animals navigate complex environments

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

By Aravi Samuel, Harvard.

Simple animals rely on inborn strategies to exhibit purposeful navigation in complex environments. Biophysical analysis of animal behavior in defined environments can uncover these strategies, providing strong constraints on the encoding of behavioral strategies in the nervous system. Here, I will discuss the thermotactic behaviors of the nematode C. elegans and the Drosophila larvum, showing how complex patterns of exploratory navigation can be explained in terms of elementary algorithms, providing a rigorous framework for detailed investigations at the genetic and neurophysiological levels.

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