Dr Cwyn Solvi

Email: cwyn.solvi@mq.edu.au 


Honorary post-doctoral fellow

Research interests

I am broadly interested in the evolution and neuroethology of cognitive abilities. What are the cognitive capabilities of animals with very small brains? How are complex cognitive abilities (e.g. emotions, metacognition, social learning, consciousness) accomplished by the brain? What neural circuitry is required for these cognitive phenomena?

Studies of invertebrates have long provided a valuable perspective for comparative cognition and indeed have been invaluable for our progress in the neurosciences. Insects, in particular, are wonderful model systems to explore complex cognitive phenomena because of their large repertoire of sensory and behavioural adaptations and relatively small nervous systems. To better understand complex cognition, it will take both determining the neurocircuitry necessary for the fundamental elements of complex cognition and modelling such behaviour on a whole neural system level.

At Queen Mary University of London, I am using immunohistochemistry, pharmacology, RFID tracking, radar, modelling, computational analyses, and behavioural experiments in the lab and field to explore the vast world of miniscule brains.

Selected peer-reviewed publications

Perry CJ & Baciadonna L. Studying emotion in invertebrates: what has been done, what can be measured and what they can provide. Journal of Experimental Biology. Nov 1;220(Pt 21):3856-3868. Impact Factor: 2.91 (Invited Review)


Li Li, Egertová M, Elphick M, Chittka L & Perry CJ. A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Oct 11;284(1864). 


Loukola O*, Perry CJ*, Chittka L. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed strategy. Science. 2017; 355.6327:833-836. (*co-first authors)


Perry CJ, Baciadonna L, & Chittka L. Unexpected rewards induce dopamine-dependent positive emotion-like state changes in bumblebees. Science. 2016; 353.6307:1529-1531


Alem S*, Perry CJ*, Zhu X, Loukola O, Ingraham T, Søvik E, Chittka L. Associative mechanisms allow for social learning and cultural transmission of string pulling in an insect. 2016; PLoS Biol 14(10). (*co-first authors)


Søvik E, Perry CJ. The evolutionary history of consciousness. Animal Sentience. 2016;1(9):19. (Invited Commentary)


Perry CJ*, Søvik E*, Myerscough M, Barron AB. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies. Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences. 2015;112(11):3427-3432. (*co-first authors)


Perry, C.J. & Barron, A.B. (2013). Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices. Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print November 4, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314571110 PNAS November 4, 2013. Impact factor: 9.7.


Perry, C.J., Barron, A.B. & Cheng K. (2013). Invertebrate learning and cognition: relating phenomena to neural substrate. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science,4(5):561-582. Impact Factor: 0.94.


Perry, C.J. & Barron, A.B. (2013). Neural mechanisms of reward in insects. Annual Review of Entomology, 58:543-62. Impact Factor: 12.1.


Perry, C. & Felsen, G. (2012). Rats can make relative perceptual judgments about sequential stimuli. Animal Cognition. Feb. Online, doi: 10.1007/s10071-012-0471-4. Impact Factor: 3.3.




For my Google Scholar publications and citation summary please click here.