Developing a brain-computer interface for flies will help us better explore fundamental principles underlying perception and brain plasticity.

Objective/mission (the vision)
What we pay attention to depends on our innate preferences, our history, and our immediate environment. Allowing an animal to navigate behaviourally among a succession of visual choices in a virtual reality environment uncovers the salience architecture guiding ongoing decisions. By tapping into attention signatures from the fly brain, it should in principle be possible to have fly navigation and decision-making be guided entirely by brain signals. Our objective is to build such a fly brain-machine interface as a platform to study salience, decision making, and plasticity in the Drosophila brain. Such an interface would provide novel readouts for understanding how brains work, and how they fail.

Research approach (the initiative)
This work is largely driven by our electrophysiology recordings of flies behaving in virtual reality environments. This work is inspired by a succession of discoveries over the years that provide compelling evidence that flies have a selective attention and that this can be inferred directly from their brain activity:

Associate Professor Karin Nordstrom (Flinders University)

Project members

Key contacts

Professor Bruno van Swinderen

Professorial Research Fellow - GL
Queensland Brain Institute