Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new view on sensing, movement, and behavioral control in animals

13.11.2007
While most animals, including humans, preferentially sense and move toward objects that are in front of them, an electric fish from the Amazon called the black ghost knifefish can swim backward or forward to catch its prey.

In a new study published online this week in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, James Snyder and colleagues at Northwestern University investigate the relationship between the energetic costs of the knifefish’s active sensing system—which requires far more energy than passive sensing—and the area over which the animal senses its prey.

They propose that the energetic constraints of the knifefish’s active sensing system leads to a restricted sensory space compared to passive-sensing animals.

By combining video analysis of prey capture behavior with computational modeling of the fish’s electrosensory capabilities, the scientists were able to quantify and compare the 3D volumes for sensation and movement for the first time in any animal. They found that the sensory volume (the size and shape of the space within which objects can be detected by an animal) overlaps the motor volume (the location in space that an animal can reach within a set time period). They suggest that this coupling may arise from constraints that the animal faces when using self-generated energy to probe its environment. They also suggest that the degree of overlap between sensory and movement volumes can provide insight into the types of control strategies that are best suited for guiding behavior.

... more about:
»Animal »behavior »movement »sensing »volume

Citation: Snyder JB, Nelson ME, Burdick JW, MacIver MA (2007) Omnidirectional sensory and motor volumes in electric fish. PLoS Biol 5(11): e301. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050301

•Caption: A computer model of the knifefish illustrates the estimated SV for active sensing of prey (red) and stopping MV (blue). The backdrop shows a color map of the fish’s simulated self-generated electric field. SV barely exceeds the stopping MV, revealing that the fish invests just enough energy into active sensing to detect prey in time to stop. (Image: MacIver et al.)

CONTACT:
Malcolm MacIver
Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Rd, Tech B224
Evanston, IL 60208-3111
+1-847-491-3540
+1-847-556-0173 (fax)
maciver@northwestern.edu

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=getdocument&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050301

Further reports about: Animal behavior movement sensing volume

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>