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Desert ants: is active locomotion a prerequisite for path integration?


Seidl, T; Knaden, M; Wehner, R (2006). Desert ants: is active locomotion a prerequisite for path integration? Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 192(10):1125-1131.

Abstract

Desert ants Cataglyphis fortis have been shown to be able to employ two mechanisms of distance estimation: exploiting both optic flow and proprioceptive information. This study aims at understanding possible interactions between the two possibly redundant mechanisms of distance estimation. We ask whether in Cataglyphis the obviously minor contribution of optic flow would increase or even take over completely if the ants were deprived of reliable proprioceptive information. In various experimental paradigms ants were subjected to passive horizontal displacements during which they perceived optic flow, but were prohibited from active locomotion. The results show that in desert ants active locomotion is essential for providing the ants' odometer and hence its path integrator with the necessary information.

Abstract

Desert ants Cataglyphis fortis have been shown to be able to employ two mechanisms of distance estimation: exploiting both optic flow and proprioceptive information. This study aims at understanding possible interactions between the two possibly redundant mechanisms of distance estimation. We ask whether in Cataglyphis the obviously minor contribution of optic flow would increase or even take over completely if the ants were deprived of reliable proprioceptive information. In various experimental paradigms ants were subjected to passive horizontal displacements during which they perceived optic flow, but were prohibited from active locomotion. The results show that in desert ants active locomotion is essential for providing the ants' odometer and hence its path integrator with the necessary information.

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6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:1 October 2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 12:56
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-7594
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-006-0148-z
PubMed ID:16823570

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