Document Detail

How do insects use path integration for their navigation?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11007299     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We combine experimental findings on ants and bees, and build on earlier models, to give an account of how these insects navigate using path integration, and how path integration interacts with other modes of navigation. At the core of path integration is an accumulator. This is set to an initial state at the nest and is updated as the insect moves so that it always reports the insect's current position relative to the nest. Navigation that uses path integration requires, in addition, a way of storing states of the accumulator at significant places for subsequent recall as goals, and a means of computing the direction to such goals. We discuss three models of how path integration might be used for this process, which we call vector navigation. Vector navigation is the principal means of navigating over unfamiliar terrain, or when landmarks are unavailable. Under other conditions, insects often navigate by landmarks, and ignore the output of the vector navigation system. Landmark navigation does not interfere with the updating of the accumulator. There is an interesting symmetry in the use of landmarks and path integration. In the short term, vector navigation can be independent of landmarks, and landmark navigation needs no assistance from path integration. In the longer term, visual landmarks help keep path vector navigation calibrated, and the learning of visual landmarks is guided by path integration.
M Collett; T S Collett
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biological cybernetics     Volume:  83     ISSN:  0340-1200     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol Cybern     Publication Date:  2000 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-23     Completed Date:  2001-01-26     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502533     Medline TA:  Biol Cybern     Country:  GERMANY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  245-59     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal*
Models, Biological*
Psychomotor Performance*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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