Path integration in a three-dimensional world: the case of desert ants

  title={Path integration in a three-dimensional world: the case of desert ants},
  author={Bernhard Ronacher},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  pages={379 - 387}
  • B. Ronacher
  • Published 4 February 2020
  • Geology
  • Journal of Comparative Physiology A
Desert ants use path integration to return from foraging excursions on a shortcut way to their nests. Intriguingly, when walking over hills, the ants incorporate the ground distance, the paths’ projection to the horizontal plane, into their path integrator. This review discusses how Cataglyphis may solve this computational feat. To infer ground distance, ants must incorporate the inclination of path segments into the assessment of distance. Hair fields between various joints have been… 

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This study trained desert ants to walk over artificial hills and later tested their acceptance of slopes within novel contexts, finding that Cataglyphis obviously dissociates the experience of sloped path segments from the original context in which they appeared, thus reducing their significance as a navigational aid.


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