An Ant's Tale: There and Back Again ( via Path Integration)

1004 Words Feb 1st, 2018 4 Pages
Forms of navigation can tell us a great deal about the inner workings of the mind. Also, it eplains how sensory systems across a great number of creatures present. Many of these are non- representational and non-perceptual. The foraging desert ant, for example, sets out from the nest looking for food. Initially, it chooses no specific path on its quest. It leaves the nest, then proceeds to seemingly random turns in search of its food. Upon finding what it is looking for, it doesn't retrace its steps back to the nest. The desert ant will make a near-straight line path to its home. This has been tested by way of experimental manipulation of the ant’s outbound path (Muller). It ran the ant through both 2-leg/turn paths and 3-leg/turn paths, and the results were the same. The return path was then measured for accuracy and directness. Through a process called path integration, the ant calculates the most direct route back home. Path integration is the computation of distance and directional data in order to chart a vector. In this example, the ant does not use beacons or landmarks to find its way home. It makes a calculation of various stimuli and is able to calculate the necessary path. For example, the ant uses the proximal stimuli of torque stress on its joints. Path integration is considered a "computational transformation that yields an informational vector, constituted by a distance and a…
Open Document