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

@article{Ronacher2020PathII,
  title={Path integration in a three-dimensional world: the case of desert ants},
  author={Bernhard Ronacher},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  year={2020},
  volume={206},
  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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Changes in polarization perception can be ruled out as the crucial cue for gauging slopes, and it is concluded that slopes are monitored by a, still unknown, proprioceptive mechanism.

Path integration in a three-dimensional maze: ground distance estimation keeps desert ants Cataglyphis fortis on course

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The results suggest a much more sophisticated mechanism of distance estimation than hitherto thought, in which the ants must be able to measure the slopes of undulating terrain and to integrate this information into their "odometer" for the distance estimation process.

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Desert ants do not acquire and use a three-dimensional global vector

It is concluded that Cataglyphis fortis essentially represents its environment in a simplified, two-dimensional fashion, with information about vertical path segments being learnt, but independently from their congruence with the actual three-dimensional configuration of the environment.

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The ant’s estimation of distance travelled: experiments with desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis

The ant’s odometric undershooting could be adaptive during natural foraging trips insofar as it leads the homing ant to concentrate the major part of its nest-search behaviour on the base of its individual foraging sector, i.e. on its familiar landmark corridor.
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