Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


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

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.)

Malcolm MacIver
Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Rd, Tech B224
Evanston, IL 60208-3111
+1-847-556-0173 (fax)

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Animal behavior movement sensing volume

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>