Dr Vivek Nityananda
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6246
- Address: Institute of Neuroscience,
Henry Wellcome Building for Neuroecology,
University of Newcastle,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Ph.D., Animal Behaviour, Indian Institute of Science
M.Sc. Biological Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani
Marie Curie Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London
Human Frontiers Science Program Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota
Grants and Fellowships
2016 Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award (for a play about insect senses with Cap-A-Pie Theatre, Newcastle)
2016 Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Institute of Advanced Study, College for Life Sciences fellowship
2015 Great North Museum Fellowship for Public Engagement
2014 Centre for Behaviour and Evolution Small Grant (with Dr Ronny Rosner and Dr Ghaith Tarawneh)
2012 Centre for Ecology and Evolution Research Grant (with Dr Shakti Lamba)
2011 Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship
2010 Human Frontiers in Science Program Long Term Fellowship
2015-present Member of executive committee, Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Newcastle University
2014 – present Member of postdoctoral committee at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
2014 - present Member of the Equality and Diversity Committee at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
2012 – 2013 Joint postdoctoral representative, Research Strategy Group, Queen Mary University of London
2012-2013 Joint secretary of the London Evolutionary Research Network, a society for post-graduate students engaged in evolutionary research.
Reviewer for the following journals:
PLoS Biology, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Animal Behaviour, PLoS One, Ethology, Resonance, Current Science
I am a sensory biologist with a focus on sensory ecology and selective attention. My research is multidisciplinary and combines neuroscience, ecology, evolutionary biology and psychophysics to study animal behaviour. I use a variety of techniques as part of my research, including behavioural observations, manipulative experiments, neurophysiology and agent-based modelling of neural and evolutionary processes. My work combines diverse approaches to provide a holistic perspective to the understanding of behaviour.
1. Stereo vision in the praying mantis
I'm currently investigating the mechanisms underlying stereo vision in the praying mantis as part of a project funded by a Leverhulme Trust grant to Prof Jenny Read. Praying mantises are the only invertebrates known to have stereo vision. Our project investigates how they compute stereo vision and if their mechanisms of stereo vision are similar to those seen in primates or not. This will shed light on whether and how nervous systems evolve convergent solutions to similar problems. It could also lead to the development of novel mantis-inspired depth perception algorithms. You can read more about the project here: http://www.jennyreadresearch.com/research/m3/
2. The evolution of self-deception (in collaboration with Dr. Shakti Lamba).
Robert Trivers proposed that self deception could have evolved to facilitate the deception of others if it eliminates signals (e.g. stress) that reveal deception. We are developing an empirical research programme testing this idea in humans and other species. Our first findings are published here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0104562
MMB8043 Comparative Cognition: Information Processing in Humans and Other Animals
Lectures on Concept Formation and Spatial Cognition
Previous lectures: Animal communication, Sensory Ecology, Selective attention, An introduction to Matlab
- Nityananda V, Bissianna G, Tarawneh G, Read J. Small or far away? Size and distance perception in the praying mantis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 2016, 371(1697), 1-8.
- Nityananda V, Tarawneh G, Rosner R, Nicolas J, Crichton S, Read J. Insect stereopsis demonstrated using a 3D insect cinema. Scientific Reports 2016, 6, 1-9.
- Nityananda V, Chittka L. Modality-specific attention in foraging bumblebees. Royal Society Open Science 2015, 2, 1-10.
- Nityananda V, Tarawneh G, Jones L, Busby N, Herbert W, Davies R, Read JCA. The contrast sensitivity function of the praying mantis Sphodromantis lineola. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 2015, 201(8), 741-750.
- Nityananda V, Skorupski P, Chittka L. Can bees see at a glance?. Journal of Experimental Biology 2014, 217, 1933-1939.
- Lamba S, Nityananda V. Self-Deceived Individuals Are Better at Deceiving Others. PLoS One 2014, 9(8), e104562.
- Nityananda V, Pattrick JG. Bumblebee visual search for multiple learned target types. Journal of Experimental Biology 2013, 216, 4154-4160.
- Nityananda V. Making Sense of the World. (Review of Sensory Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution by Martin Stevens. Oxford University Press (2013), 264 pages. ISBN: 978-0-199-60178-3). Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 2013, 11(2), 89-92.
- Nityananda V, Bee MA. Spatial release from masking in a free-field source identification task by gray treefrogs. Hearing Research 2012, 285(1-2), 86-97.
- Nityananda V, Bee MA. Finding your mate at a cocktail party: frequency separation promotes auditory stream segregation of concurrent voices in multi-species frog choruses. PLoS One 2011, 6(6), e21191.
- Nityananda V, Balakrishnan R. Modeling the role of competition and cooperation in the evolution of katydid acoustic synchrony. Behavioral Ecology 2009, 20, 484-489.
- Nityananda V, Balakrishnan R. Leaders and followers in katydid choruses in the field: call intensity, spacing and consistency. Animal Behaviour 2008, 76, 723-735.
- Nityananda V, Stradner J, Roemer H, Balakrishnan R. Selective attention in a synchronising bushcricket: physiology, behaviour and ecology. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 2007, 193.
- Nityananda V, Balakrishnan R. Synchrony during acoustic interactions in the bushcricket Mecopoda 'Chirper' (Tettigoniidae:Orthoptera) is generated by a combination of chirp-by-chirp resetting and change in intrinsic chirp rate. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 2007, 193, 51-65.
- Nityananda V, Balakrishnan R. A diversity of songs among morphologically indistinguishable katydids of the Genus Mecopoda (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) from Southern India. Bioacoustics 2006, 15, 223-250.