UCL Division of Biosciences


NPP Seminar: Dr Florencia Iacaruso, Crick Institute

01 March 2023, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Florencia Iacaruso

Title: ‘Flexible approach strategies support interceptive pursuit behaviour in mice’

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Charlette Bent-Gayle


G46 H O Schild Pharmacology LT,
Medical Sciences and Anatomy
Gower Street

Academic Host: Isaac Bianco

Abstract:  Responding to object motion is fundamental to survival. For example, predators must detect and evaluate the kinematic properties of their prey to execute an appropriate trajectory for capture. An efficient prey capture strategy requires an estimation of the future position of the target and should account for the predator’s sensorimotor processing delays to make a predictive interception. Yet, prey motion may vary unpredictably, demanding online updates to motor output.  Mice can hunt moving prey and have been established as a successful model in which to study visually guided pursuit and capture behaviours. However, their ability to adapt their pursuit strategy to the direction of travel and speed of their target is poorly understood. To study this, we developed a new behavioural paradigm in which mice were trained to pursue and catch a moving target displayed on a touch screen, rendering highly reproducible pursuit behaviours. Mice perform hundreds of trials per session and their interception success depends on the speed and contrast of the target. I will show that mice anticipate the future location of moving visual targets and adapt their pursuit strategy to the demands of the task and to sudden manoeuvres of the target. We are currently investigating the role of the superior colliculus in the tracking and interception of moving targets during pursuit behaviour.

About the Speaker

Florencia Iacaruso

Group leader at The Francis Crick Institute

More about Florencia Iacaruso