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The role of spatial texture in visual control of bumblebee learning flights

Linander, Nellie LU ; Dacke, Marie LU ; Baird, Emily LU and Hempel de Ibarra, Natalie (2018) In Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 204(8). p.737-745
Abstract

When leaving the nest for the first time, bees and wasps perform elaborate learning flights, during which the location of the nest is memorised. These flights are characterised by a succession of arcs or loops of increasing radius centred around the nest, with an incremental increase in ground speed, which requires precise control of the flight manoeuvres by the insect. Here, we investigated the role of optic flow cues in the control of learning flights by manipulating spatial texture in the ventral and panoramic visual field. We measured height, lateral displacement relative to the nest and ground speed during learning flights in bumblebees when ventral and panoramic optic flow cues were present or minimised, or features of the ground... (More)

When leaving the nest for the first time, bees and wasps perform elaborate learning flights, during which the location of the nest is memorised. These flights are characterised by a succession of arcs or loops of increasing radius centred around the nest, with an incremental increase in ground speed, which requires precise control of the flight manoeuvres by the insect. Here, we investigated the role of optic flow cues in the control of learning flights by manipulating spatial texture in the ventral and panoramic visual field. We measured height, lateral displacement relative to the nest and ground speed during learning flights in bumblebees when ventral and panoramic optic flow cues were present or minimised, or features of the ground texture varied in size. Our observations show that ventral optic flow cues were required for the smooth execution of learning flights. We also found that bumblebees adjusted their flight height in response to variations of the visual texture on the ground. However, the presence or absence of panoramic optic flow did not have a substantial effect on flight performance. Our findings suggest that bumblebees mainly rely on optic flow information from the ventral visual field to control their learning flights.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bees, Flight control, Flight height, Insects, Ventral optic flow
in
Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
volume
204
issue
8
pages
737 - 745
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049570526
ISSN
0340-7594
DOI
10.1007/s00359-018-1274-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09c30bb6-b5ac-4ac4-91e8-c40af715b281
date added to LUP
2018-07-20 12:06:39
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:22:39
@article{09c30bb6-b5ac-4ac4-91e8-c40af715b281,
  abstract     = {<p>When leaving the nest for the first time, bees and wasps perform elaborate learning flights, during which the location of the nest is memorised. These flights are characterised by a succession of arcs or loops of increasing radius centred around the nest, with an incremental increase in ground speed, which requires precise control of the flight manoeuvres by the insect. Here, we investigated the role of optic flow cues in the control of learning flights by manipulating spatial texture in the ventral and panoramic visual field. We measured height, lateral displacement relative to the nest and ground speed during learning flights in bumblebees when ventral and panoramic optic flow cues were present or minimised, or features of the ground texture varied in size. Our observations show that ventral optic flow cues were required for the smooth execution of learning flights. We also found that bumblebees adjusted their flight height in response to variations of the visual texture on the ground. However, the presence or absence of panoramic optic flow did not have a substantial effect on flight performance. Our findings suggest that bumblebees mainly rely on optic flow information from the ventral visual field to control their learning flights.</p>},
  author       = {Linander, Nellie and Dacke, Marie and Baird, Emily and Hempel de Ibarra, Natalie},
  issn         = {0340-7594},
  keyword      = {Bees,Flight control,Flight height,Insects,Ventral optic flow},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {737--745},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology},
  title        = {The role of spatial texture in visual control of bumblebee learning flights},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-018-1274-0},
  volume       = {204},
  year         = {2018},
}