Benjamin Lancer, PhD

Benjamin Lancer, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Goodhill Lab


Ph.D. in Medical Science (Neurophysiology), thesis entitled “A neurobiological analysis of selective attention in the Dragonfly,”  The University of Adelaide (2022)

B. Health Science (Physiology), Hons. 1st Class,  The University of Adelaide (2016)

B. Psychological Science (Psychology & Neuroscience), The University of Adelaide (2015)

Research interests

My research interests span all forms of intelligence, cognition, and behavior – from humans and other animals to Machine Learning/AI, and at all levels of analysis from sensory ecology to neurobiology. I like learning about the cool things animals do, and how they do them. I’m particularly interested in a mechanistic understanding of how neural networks (both biological and artificial) implement information processing and, ultimately, result in perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. My focus is on the visual system and, in particular, visual attention during predator-prey interactions. 

I am additionally interested in Aphantasia, both as an aphant looking to understand it and as a neuroscientist excited about what it can tell us about brain function. 


Lancer BH, Evans BJ, Fabian JM, O’Carroll DC, Wiederman SD. Preattentive facilitation of target trajectories in a dragonfly visual neuron. Communications Biology. 2022; 5:829.

Lancer BH, Evans BJE, Wiederman SD. The visual neuroecology of anisoptera. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 2020; 42:14-22.

Lancer BH, Evans BJ, Fabian JM, O’Carroll DC, Wiederman SD. A target-detecting visual neuron in the dragonfly locks on to selectively attended targets. Journal of Neuroscience. 2019; 39(43):8497-8509.

Baetu I, Pitcher JB, Cohen-Woods S, Lancer B, Beu N, Foreman LM, … Burns NR. Polymorphisms that affect GABA neurotransmission predict processing of aversive prediction errors in humans. NeuroImage. 2018; 176:179-192.

Personal interests

Outside of the lab, I can often be found on hiking trials and in parks searching for wildlife to photograph.