Advanced

Sensory matched filters

Warrant, Eric J. LU (2016) In Current Biology 26(20). p.976-980
Abstract

As animals move through their environments they are subjected to an endless barrage of sensory signals. Of these, some will be of utmost importance, such as the tell-tale aroma of a potential mate, the distinctive appearance of a vital food source or the unmistakable sound of an approaching predator. Others will be less important. Indeed some will not be important at all. There are, for instance, wide realms of the sensory world that remain entirely undetected, simply because an animal lacks the physiological capacity to detect and analyse the signals that characterise this realm. Take ourselves for example: we are completely insensitive to the Earth's magnetic field, a sensory cue of vital importance as a compass for steering the long... (More)

As animals move through their environments they are subjected to an endless barrage of sensory signals. Of these, some will be of utmost importance, such as the tell-tale aroma of a potential mate, the distinctive appearance of a vital food source or the unmistakable sound of an approaching predator. Others will be less important. Indeed some will not be important at all. There are, for instance, wide realms of the sensory world that remain entirely undetected, simply because an animal lacks the physiological capacity to detect and analyse the signals that characterise this realm. Take ourselves for example: we are completely insensitive to the Earth's magnetic field, a sensory cue of vital importance as a compass for steering the long distance migration of animals as varied as birds, lobsters and sea turtles. We are also totally oblivious to the rich palette of ultraviolet colours that exist all around us, colours seen by insects, crustaceans, birds, fish and lizards (in fact perhaps by most animals). Nor can we hear the ultrasonic sonar pulses emitted by bats in hot pursuit of flying insect prey. The simple reason for these apparent deficiencies is that we either lack the sensory capacity entirely (as in the case of magnetoreception) or that our existing senses are incapable of detecting specific ranges of the stimulus (such as the ultraviolet wavelength range of light).

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Current Biology
volume
26
issue
20
pages
976 - 980
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84994745360
ISSN
0960-9822
DOI
10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.042
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
803ea88e-4713-4b10-bb92-5b9b0a487d63
date added to LUP
2016-11-30 14:38:39
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:22:46
@article{803ea88e-4713-4b10-bb92-5b9b0a487d63,
  abstract     = {<p>As animals move through their environments they are subjected to an endless barrage of sensory signals. Of these, some will be of utmost importance, such as the tell-tale aroma of a potential mate, the distinctive appearance of a vital food source or the unmistakable sound of an approaching predator. Others will be less important. Indeed some will not be important at all. There are, for instance, wide realms of the sensory world that remain entirely undetected, simply because an animal lacks the physiological capacity to detect and analyse the signals that characterise this realm. Take ourselves for example: we are completely insensitive to the Earth's magnetic field, a sensory cue of vital importance as a compass for steering the long distance migration of animals as varied as birds, lobsters and sea turtles. We are also totally oblivious to the rich palette of ultraviolet colours that exist all around us, colours seen by insects, crustaceans, birds, fish and lizards (in fact perhaps by most animals). Nor can we hear the ultrasonic sonar pulses emitted by bats in hot pursuit of flying insect prey. The simple reason for these apparent deficiencies is that we either lack the sensory capacity entirely (as in the case of magnetoreception) or that our existing senses are incapable of detecting specific ranges of the stimulus (such as the ultraviolet wavelength range of light).</p>},
  author       = {Warrant, Eric J.},
  issn         = {0960-9822},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {20},
  pages        = {976--980},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Current Biology},
  title        = {Sensory matched filters},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.042},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2016},
}