Siddharth Ramakrishnan was the first speaker in our new Salon series. His lecture, “Pattern generation and Pattern formation in Animal neural networks”, was really thought provoking and inspiring. I immediately recruited him for my Art Sci class — he is a very good speaker and obviously loves the stage!
Here is his description: Most of our daily motor activities are pre-programmed rhythmic movements (walking, eating etc.). How are such rhythms generated? How are they modulated to produce different behaviors? I will show with snails the patterns underlying such rhythmic behaviors. I will also explore the elegance and simplicity of invertebrates. Over time research on such organisms has faded and science is targeted towards “complex” animals with greater bearing towards humans. I will try to emphasize the benefits and significance of simple systems and their beauty.