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Visual Physiology and Neurobotics Laboratory

The Visual Physiology and Neurobotics Laboratory studies how the brain processes visual information. 

Consider a human catching a ball, a dog leaping at a Frisbee, or a dragonfly hunting prey amidst a swarm. Brains large and small have evolved the ability to predictively focus attention on a moving target, whilst ignoring distracters and background clutter. 

We investigate visual processing at behavioural, computational and physiological levels, with a multidisciplinary team working in fields of neuroethology, neurobiology, psychology, computer vision and engineering.

Our group uses electrophysiological techniques to investigate how flying insects perform such visual tasks—like hunting prey. Our most recent work suggests that insects use sophisticated mechanisms of attention, similar to those in primates, to aid in the selection of one feature even in the presence of distracters (e.g. feeding in a swarm).

The physiological data acquired in our laboratory feeds into our robotics projects as we implement neuronal processing onto an autonomous platform. This research involves computational modelling and hardware development, requiring skills in mathematics and engineering. As such, we collaborate with both mechanical engineering and computer vision researchers on jointly supervised projects.

Lead researcher: Dr Steven Wiederman

Research team



  • Australian Centre for Robotic Vision - Queensland University of Technology
  • Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics - University of Adelaide
  • School of Mechanical Engineering - University of Adelaide 
  • Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) - University of Adelaide
  • Lund University - Sweden
  • DefendTex Pty. Ltd. and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG)

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.