Insect brains use image interpolation mechanisms to recognise rotated objects

Adrian Geoffrey Dyer, Quoc C Vuong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Recognising complex three-dimensional objects presents significant challenges to visual systems when these objects are rotated in depth. The image processing requirements for reliable individual recognition under these circumstances are computationally intensive since local features and their spatial relationships may significantly change as an object is rotated in the horizontal plane. Visual experience is known to be important in primate brains learning to recognise rotated objects, but currently it is unknown how animals with comparatively simple brains deal with the problem of reliably recognising objects when seen from different viewpoints. We show that the miniature brain of honeybees initially demonstrate a low tolerance for novel views of complex shapes (e.g. human faces), but can learn to recognise novel views of stimuli by interpolating between or averaging views they have experienced. The finding that visual experience is also important for bees has important implications for understanding how three dimensional biologically relevant objects like flowers are recognised in complex environments, and for how machine vision might be taught to solve related visual problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 4
Number of pages4
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12 (e4086)
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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