Home > Papers from 2014 > A new style of motion parallax

A new style of motion parallax

It is well known that animals can gain depth information through motion parallax. Thus many animals produce peering behaviours or bouts of pure translation which structure visual input such that the movement of an object within the image is inversely proportional to its distance from the animal. The learning flights of wasps and bees have traditionally been seen as an example of such active vision and seem well-suited to gaining information from motion parallax. Here, Riabinina et al. show that bumblebees use a subtle variation of motion parallax generation. During periods where the bees translate with apparent fixed orientation, they are actually counter rotating their head to keep the nest entrance centered in their visual field. This has an interesting consequence for the resultant flow field. The movement of objects in the flow field now gives information about their distance from the nest entrance rather than the bee. This may be more useful for a learning flight which is needed to learn about the surroundings of the nest entrance.

Riabinina, O., Hempel de Ibarra, N., Philippides, A. and Collett, T. S. (2014). Head movements and the optic flow generated during the learning flights of bumblebees. J. Exp. Biol. 217, 2633-2642.

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