Snapshots in ants? New interpretations of paradigmatic experiments

Wystrach, Antoine, Mangan, Michael, Philippides, Andrew and Graham, Paul (2013) Snapshots in ants? New interpretations of paradigmatic experiments. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 (10). pp. 1766-1770. ISSN 0022-0949

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Ants can use visual information to guide long idiosyncratic routes and accurately pinpoint locations in complex natural environments. It has often been assumed that the world knowledge of these foragers consists of multiple discrete views that are retrieved sequentially for breaking routes into sections controlling approaches to a goal. Here we challenge this idea using a model of visual navigation that does not store and use discrete views to replicate the results from paradigmatic experiments that have been taken as evidence that ants navigate using such discrete snapshots. Instead of sequentially retrieving views, the proposed architecture gathers information from all experienced views into a single memory network, and uses this network all along the route to determine the most familiar heading at a given location. This algorithm is consistent with the navigation of ants in both laboratory and natural environments, and provides a parsimonious solution to deal with visual information from multiple locations.

Keywords:Ant, Familiarity, Learning walks, Navigation, Snapshot, Visual memory
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G730 Neural Computing
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:23579
Deposited On:31 Jul 2016 20:13

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