Columbia University in the City of New York

Feb 9, 20236:30 pm

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture

Featuring Rudy Behnia, PhD, Shuran Song, PhD, moderated by Vassiki Chauhan, PhD

February 9th, 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm at Online

Register Here

A Clear Vision: How Animals and Robots See the Physical World
Sensing the world around us might feel effortless, but how does the brain succeed in the complex task of interpreting what we see? Could understanding the neuroscience of vision be the key for creating robots that perceive, interact with, and learn from their surroundings as well as we can -- or even better? In this pair of talks by two experts in distinct but related fields, our speakers will explore vision, from biology to technology, and discuss how the domains of science and engineering can inspire each other in tackling these fascinating questions.


Rudy Behnia, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Principal Investigator at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, will open our event by sharing her research on how the brain processes the dynamic information coming in from our surrounding environment. Using the sophisticated yet compact brains of fruit flies as a model, she will bring us into the world of animal behavior and discuss the neuroscience behind color perception. 

Shuran Song, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, will then talk about her work building computer vision algorithms at the forefront of robotics that enable machines to see better. Drawing from examples in her lab, she will discuss how robots can sense and perceive more than ever before by actively exploring the physical world and learning from these interactions to carry out complex tasks.

Following the two talks, Vassiki Chauhan, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at Barnard College, will moderate a discussion and Q&A with the speakers. Audience questions are welcomed, either submitted during registration or live during the event.

This talk is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

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