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The behavioral experiments using the VR system revealed that the silkmoth had the highest chance of navigating successfully when the odor, vision, and wind information were accurately provided. However, the search success rate was reduced if the wind direction information was in conflict with the odor stimulus. In this case, the silk moth was seen to move more carefully. This reflected a modulation of behavior based on the degree of complexity of the environment.
The team recorded a migration probability map to visualize the effects of differences in environmental conditions on the behavioral trajectory. They developed a new mathematical model that not only succeeded in reproducing the silk moth search behavior, but also improved the search success rate relative to the conventional odor-source search algorithm.
“We think that this multi-sensory integration mechanism will help with the motion algorithm of automated rescue robots,” senior author Shunsuke Shigaki says. This would allow search robots to find chemical leaks more efficiently.
Mayu Yamada et al, Multisensory-motor integration in olfactory navigation of silkmoth, Bombyx mori, using virtual reality system, eLife (2021). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.72001
Team’s virtual reality system for moths may spur development of robots for finding chemical leaks and more (2021, December 21)
retrieved 22 December 2021
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