Home > Papers from 2017 > How to interpret interactions between PI and vision

How to interpret interactions between PI and vision

The classic components of the insect navigation toolkit are Path Integration and guidance by learnt visual cues. We know that the interaction between these cues is not a simple hierarchy. Both can be active at the same time and there are interesting interactions when ants are moved to a visually novel location with a Path Integration home vector. Ants will follow the direction of their PI home vector for a while before starting to search. The distance for which ants follow their PI vector is greater for species that live in environment with reduced visual information (like a desert for instance). In this paper, Freas et al. investigate the insect navigational toolkit with a nocturnal ant. These ants are shown to use PI and visual information and in tests where they are put in novel environment with a full PI vector, they follow it for a short distance before searching. This demonstrates the value of visual information, even in a nocturnal species.

Freas, C. A., Narendra, A., & Cheng, K. (2017). Compass cues used by a nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia midas. Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb-152967.

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