Vision for navigation: what can we learn from ants?

Graham, Paul and Philippides, Andy (2017) Vision for navigation: what can we learn from ants? Arthropod Structure & Development, 46 (5). pp. 718-722. ISSN 1467-8039

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The visual systems of all animals are used to provide information that can guide behaviour. In some cases insects demonstrate particularly impressive visually-guided behaviour and then we might reasonably ask
how the low-resolution vision and limited neural resources of insects are tuned to particular behavioural strategies. Such questions are of interest to both biologists and to engineers seeking to emulate insectlevel performance with lightweight hardware. One behaviour that insects share with many animals is the use of learnt visual information for navigation. Desert ants, in particular, are expert visual navigators.
Across their foraging life, ants can learn long idiosyncratic foraging routes. What's more, these routes are learnt quickly and the visual cues that define them can be implemented for guidance independently of
other social or personal information. Here we review the style of visual navigation in solitary foraging ants and consider the physiological mechanisms that underpin it. Our perspective is to consider that
robust navigation comes from the optimal interaction between behavioural strategy, visual mechanisms and neural hardware.We consider each of these in turn, highlighting the value of ant-like mechanisms in biomimetic endeavours.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology > QP0431 Senses
Depositing User: Paul Graham
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 09:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:03

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