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Finding the gap : A brightness-based strategy for guidance in cluttered environments

Baird, Emily LU and Dacke, Marie LU (2016) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 283(1828).
Abstract

The ability to move safely between obstacles is critical for animals that fly rapidly through cluttered environments but surprisingly little is known about how they achieve this. Do they reactively avoid obstacles or do they instead fly towards the gaps between them? If they aim towards gaps, what information do they use to detect and fly through them? Here, we aim to answer these questions by presenting orchid bees with different apertures. When negotiating gaps, orchid bees locate and fly close to the point that gives themgreatest clearance from the edges. The cue that they use to pinpoint this spot is the brightness gradient formed across the aperture. Furthermore, we find that orchid bees also rely on brightness cues to locate gaps... (More)

The ability to move safely between obstacles is critical for animals that fly rapidly through cluttered environments but surprisingly little is known about how they achieve this. Do they reactively avoid obstacles or do they instead fly towards the gaps between them? If they aim towards gaps, what information do they use to detect and fly through them? Here, we aim to answer these questions by presenting orchid bees with different apertures. When negotiating gaps, orchid bees locate and fly close to the point that gives themgreatest clearance from the edges. The cue that they use to pinpoint this spot is the brightness gradient formed across the aperture. Furthermore, we find that orchid bees also rely on brightness cues to locate gaps that are sufficiently large to negotiate safely. The advantage of using brightness for locating and negotiating gaps in a cluttered environment is that it provides information about the safest path through obstacles, at least in a forest environment. This brightness-based guidance strategy for gap detection and negotiation represents a fast, computationally simple and efficient mechanism to identify the clearest path through a forest and is, therefore, likely to represent a more general mechanism used by other animals.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Brightness, Flight, Guidance, Insect, Orchid bee, Vision
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
283
issue
1828
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:84964068463
ISSN
0962-8452
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2015.2988
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
192eea44-c68b-4440-91e8-564ce6f65a6b
date added to LUP
2016-06-28 12:30:55
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:29:14
@article{192eea44-c68b-4440-91e8-564ce6f65a6b,
  abstract     = {<p>The ability to move safely between obstacles is critical for animals that fly rapidly through cluttered environments but surprisingly little is known about how they achieve this. Do they reactively avoid obstacles or do they instead fly towards the gaps between them? If they aim towards gaps, what information do they use to detect and fly through them? Here, we aim to answer these questions by presenting orchid bees with different apertures. When negotiating gaps, orchid bees locate and fly close to the point that gives themgreatest clearance from the edges. The cue that they use to pinpoint this spot is the brightness gradient formed across the aperture. Furthermore, we find that orchid bees also rely on brightness cues to locate gaps that are sufficiently large to negotiate safely. The advantage of using brightness for locating and negotiating gaps in a cluttered environment is that it provides information about the safest path through obstacles, at least in a forest environment. This brightness-based guidance strategy for gap detection and negotiation represents a fast, computationally simple and efficient mechanism to identify the clearest path through a forest and is, therefore, likely to represent a more general mechanism used by other animals.</p>},
  articleno    = {20152988},
  author       = {Baird, Emily and Dacke, Marie},
  issn         = {0962-8452},
  keyword      = {Brightness,Flight,Guidance,Insect,Orchid bee,Vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {1828},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Finding the gap : A brightness-based strategy for guidance in cluttered environments},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2988},
  volume       = {283},
  year         = {2016},
}