Feeds

Insect vision a template for computer ‘sight’

Can you see what bees see?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Computers aren’t yet good at making complex, ad-hoc decisions from visual inputs. However, the discovery at Melbourne’s RMIT that bees' brains are big enough to do so could set the direction for future computer vision research.

According to RMIT Associate Professor Adrian Dyer, of RMIT’s school of media and communication, the Australian-French project demonstrated that honeybees have enough brain to apply multiple rules to complex visual problems.

Humans do such things pretty much without thinking: approaching an intersection, Dyer said, we can simultaneously “observe the traffic light colour, the flow of oncoming cars and pedestrians to make a decision.”

Experience, Dyer said, teaches us to apply complex rules to this kind of problem – but a primate brain isn’t needed to show similar kind of learning. In the RMIT experiments, bees were placed in a Y-shaped maze, and given different elements with specific relationships, such as above/below or left/right.

The research suggests that bees were able to learn that elements had to follow two sets of rules in a specific relationship, while also processing elements that were different to each other.

As the researchers write, “Bees that learned to classify visual targets by using this dual concept transferred their choices to unknown stimuli that offered a best match”, noting that cognitive processing can be “achieved by relatively simple neural architectures”.

Because bee brains are simple and accessible, Dyer said, the experiment “offers the possibility of deciphering the neural basis of high-level cognitive tasks”.

If this kind of processing can be deciphered, it will become much easier to recreate similar processes in computers, making for robots able to process more complex visual inputs more quickly.

Monash University, and French collaborators from the University of Toulouse and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique worked with RMIT on the research, which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (abstract). ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.