Document Detail

Visual cue learning and odometry in guiding the search behavior of desert ants, Melophorus bagoti, in artificial channels.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23036665     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Terrestrial panoramic cues, path integration and search behavior are the main navigational strategies used by ants to locate food and find their way back to the nest. Searching becomes important when the other navigational cues are either not available or cannot provide sufficient information to pinpoint the goal. When searching in one-dimensional channels Melophorus bagoti ants exhibit a systematic drift in the starting-point-to-goal direction as they turn back and forth, sometimes past the goal location (Narendra et al., 2008). Here we show that this drift in channels is not a stereotypical part of the search behavior in these ants. It rather depends on the conditions of training. In experiments in which the nest entrance is located not at the end but at the side of the channel, forward drift is not always part of the nest search. Experiments on food searches showed that with the food source at the end of the channel, ants performed a linear drift in the starting-point-to-food direction. With food at the side of the channel, they showed a less pronounced drift toward the food source. In this constrained environment, especially with the goal at the end of the channel, ants seem to learn a routine such as 'run along the channel', and mix this routine with their usual strategy of turning back and forth in search.
Sebastian Schwarz; Patrick Schultheiss; Ken Cheng
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-1
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-8308     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:
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