SPATIO-temporal memory for navigation in a mushroom body model

Le Zhu*, Michael Mangan, Barbara Webb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Insects, despite relatively small brains, can perform complex navigation tasks such as memorising a visual route The exact format of visual memory encoded by neural systems during route learning and following is still unclear Here we propose that interconnections between Kenyon cells in the Mushroom Body (MB) could encode spatio-temporal memory of visual motion experienced when moving along a route In our implementation, visual motion is sensed using an event-based camera mounted on a robot, and learned by a biologically constrained spiking neural network model, based on simplified MB architecture and using modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons In contrast to previous imagematching models where all memories are stored in parallel, the continuous visual flow is inherently sequential Our results show that the model can distinguish learned from unlearned route segments, with some tolerance to internal and external noise, including small displacements The neural response can also explain observed behaviour taken to support sequential memory in ant experiments However, obtaining comparable robustness to insect navigation might require the addition of biomimetic pre-processing of the input stream, and determination of the appropriate motor strategy to exploit the memory output.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomimetic and Biohybrid Systems - 9th International Conference, Living Machines 2020, Proceedings
EditorsVasiliki Vouloutsi, Anna Mura, Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Falk Tauber, Thomas Speck, Tony J. Prescott
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-64313-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-64312-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020
Event9th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 28 Jul 201930 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference9th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2020
CityVirtual, Online

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Event-based camera
  • Insect navigation
  • Insect visual motion
  • Mushroom body learning
  • Sequence learning
  • Spatio-temporal memory


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