Predatory insects as models to understand fast and accurate sensorimotor transformations in interception tasks

For predatory insects, detecting a fast and small moving target and catching it mid-air is crucial for survival. Such ability is shared with other species, think for example, an outfielder intercepting the ball during a baseball game. Thus, interception is a task solved by brains of very different complexity. Do all predatory insects share the same flight strategy and underlying neural algorithm, or have individual species found solutions tailored to their eye size, ecosystem type and phylogeny? In this talk I will present work from my laboratory aimed at answering such questions; we are studying the behaviour, sensory performance, eye morphology and neural code of premotor neurons in aerial insect predators.