Insect navigation arises from the coordinated action of concurrent guidance systems but the neural mechanisms through which each functions, and are then coordinated, remains unknown. We propose that insects require distinct strategies to retrace familiar routes (route-following) and directly return from novel to familiar terrain (homing) using different aspects of frequency encoded views that are processed in different neural pathways. We also demonstrate how the Central Complex and Mushroom Bodies regions of the insect brain may work in tandem to coordinate the directional output of different guidance cues through a contextually switched ring-attractor inspired by neural recordings. The resultant unified model of insect navigation reproduces behavioural data from a series of cue conflict experiments in realistic animal environments and offers testable hypotheses of where and how insects process visual cues, utilise the different information that they provide and coordinate their outputs to achieve the adaptive behaviours observed in the wild.
All the source code of the implementation and part of the data are uploaded to Github and are available via https://github.com/XuelongSun/InsectNavigationToolkitModelling
- Xuelong Sun
- Shigang Yue
- Xuelong Sun
- Shigang Yue
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
© 2020, Sun et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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