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NB & CNS Seminar - Gilles Laurent | Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 4 pm

Thursday, April 27, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Chen 100
On Sleep, Camouflage and Brain Evolution
Gilles Laurent, Director, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research,
NB & CNS Seminar

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Reception - 3:30 pm

Seminar - 4 pm

Location - Chen 100

Speaker: Gilles Laurent, Director

Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

Faculty Host: Thanos Siapas


On Sleep, Camouflage and Brain Evolution


I will describe recent work on two systems and at different levels of investigation. In the first I will describe the unexpected dynamic complexity of sleep activity in the brain of a reptile. In the second, I will describe experiments on camouflage behavior in cuttlefish, an animal that exploits a unique skin display system controlled by the brain to match the texture statistics of visual scenes. Such studies, in animals that diverged over 320 and 550 MYA respectively from our own lineage, force one to reflect on the nature of common principles of brain operations.

Short bio:

Gilles Laurent is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt (Germany). Until 2009, he was the Lawrence Hansson Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA), whose faculty he joined in 1990. He was a postdoctoral fellow and Locke Research Fellow of the Royal Society at the University of Cambridge from 1985 to 1990. Gilles Laurent's interests are centered on identifying principles of brain operations, often through comparative approaches. He has worked on olfactory computation in insects, fish and rodents, and on motor control, local circuits, and vision in insects and reptiles. His present research concerns sleep, vertebrate brain evolution, and texture perception. A theme that binds these diverse topics is the dynamics of neuronal circuits.