Home > Papers from 2011 > How do insects parse visual scenes?

How do insects parse visual scenes?

We know ants use vision for guiding habitual routes, but we don’t know how an ant’s visual system describes visual scenes for use by the ant’s memory and navigational systems. This study by Wystrach et al addresses this question by asking whether a single large landmark is separated (extracted) from the rest of the visual panorama and used for navigation. They placed a very large (black sheet) landmark immediately behind the nest and trained ants to a feeder such that homeward routes were directly towards the LM. In tests with a displaced landmark or with a similar landmark on an unfamiliar test ground, ants did not simply head towards the centre of the large landmark. This (perhaps surprising) result prompted some detailed analysis of the paths. Specifically, path features were correlated with maps of image differences – where “raw-ish” panoramic images are compared between the habitual route and the test conditions. The authors conclude that their results are consistent with ants using whole relatively unprocessed panoramic scenes for guidance.

Antoine Wystrach, Guy Beugnon and Ken Cheng “Landmarks or panoramas: what do navigating ants attend to for guidance?”

Frontiers in Zoology 2011, 8:21 doi:10.1186/1742-9994-8-21

Categories: Papers from 2011
  1. Antoine Wystrach
    September 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    You may have download previously a provisional PDF form of this paper. You can now download the final PDF form here:

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