Professor Barbara Webb (BW)

Professor Barbara Webb (BW) is a joint member of both Institutes, and has worked for 20 years in the field of `Biorobotics’, building robot models of animal behaviour. She co-edited the book Biorobotics for MIT Press and has published review articles on the methodology in Nature [90], Behavioural and Brain Sciences [91]. She heads the `Insect Robotics’ lab, which combines direct behavioural experiments on insects with rigorous analysis and computational and robot modelling. The aim of this research is to use insects as a target system in which it is possible to investigate complete behavioural control loops at the identified neuron level, to gain generalised insight into the functioning of neural
systems. Her group has recently contributed to the understanding of auditory localisation and auditoryvisual integration in crickets [92], visual-guided six-legged walking in stick insects [93], visual homing in crickets [94], [95] and visual-olfactory integration in Drosophila [96]. Her focus on sensorimotor control mechanisms and multimodal control of action has led to a developing interest in how reflex systems are modified by learning [21], [97] (STREP “SPARK”). Recent work supported by EPSRC, in collaboration with Douglas Armstrong, investigated olfactory conditioning in Drosophila, using a range of non-elemental paradigms [98], complemented by modelling studies at algorithmic and
more detailed neural levels [89].

BW’s Homepage

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