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Valentino Braitenberg Award 2014 goes to Alexander Borst

Alexander Borst receives the second Valentino Braitenberg Award for Computational Neuroscience during the Bernstein Conference 2015 in Heidelberg.
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Alexander Borst
© GSN-LMU

Main research focus of the biologist is neural information processing at the level of individual neurons and small neural circuits. As an example for neural computation, Alexander Borst studies visual course control in the fruit fly Drosophila. "This is a tractable system for the following reasons: It involves computations of modest complexity, these computations are implemented in circuits that contain a rather limited number of neurons (typically less than 100), and each of these neurons can be genetically targeted allowing manipulation and recording of its activity", Borst explains.

For a comprehensive picture of information processing in the visual system, Alexander Borst combines precise anatomical reconstructions of the neuronal elements with detailed characterizations of their physiological response properties and their functional role in behavior. Computational modeling allows him and his research group to confirm their findings in a theoretical framework and make predictions for future experiments. Finally, they use their knowledge to engineer artificial flying vehicles equipped with camera systems that implement fly-inspired motion detection algorithms.

Alexander Borst's website at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried.