Navigation Links
Rats purposefully use their whiskers in different ways to help navigate in the dark
Date:7/7/2014

The way rats use their whiskers is more similar to how humans use their hands and fingers than previously thought, new research from the University of Sheffield has found.

Rats deliberately change how they sense their environment using their facial whiskers depending on whether the environment is novel, if there is a risk of collision and whether or not they can see where they are going.

Exploring rats move their long facial whiskers back and forth continuously while they are moving a behaviour called "whisking".

Scientists have known for a long time that movement of the whiskers provides these animals with a sense of touch that allows them to move around easily in the dark.

However, until now they did not know to what extent animals were able to deliberately control their whisker movement.

Academics from the Active Touch Laboratory in the University's Department of Psychology used high-speed videography to study animals that had been trained over several days to run circuits for food.

By putting them in different scenarios including putting unexpected obstacles in their way and removing visual cues the team discovered strong evidence the creatures moved their whiskers in a purposeful way to safely navigate the course.

The study found that as animals got used to their environment, they moved quicker and altered their facial whisker movements switching from broad exploratory whisker sweeps directed at nearby surfaces, such as the floor, to pushing their whisker forwards in order to detect obstacles and avoid collisions.

In environments where they were more likely to collide with objects, and without access to visual cues, animals moved more slowly but pushed their whiskers forward further. This suggests that they were aware on the increased risk of collisions and were acting more cautiously accordingly.

Professor Tony Prescott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at
'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Postles
h.postles@sheffield.ac.uk
44-114-222-1046
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Slaying bacteria with their own weapons
2. People with tinnitus process emotions differently from their peers, researchers report
3. Neurons get their neighbors to take out their trash
4. Birds evolve signature patterns to distinguish cuckoo eggs from their own
5. Male dwarf spiders make sure offspring is their own
6. Tree hugging helps koalas keep their cool
7. In the age of open science, repurposing and reproducing research pose their own challenges
8. Pesticides: Research provides new insights into their effects on shrimps and snails
9. Scientists link honeybees changing roles throughout their lives to brain chemistry
10. Groovy turtles genes to aid in their rescue
11. The real difference between how men and women choose their partners
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/17/2014)... State,s Institute for the Arts and Humanities has received ... for a two-year project, "The Boundaries of the Human ... project will support a wide-ranging series of events aimed ... humanities. One involves artists and researchers who are exploring ... the idea of humanism, and the other involves the ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... has developed, very cleverly, some lessons on how to ... said Joseph Shaw, director of the Optical Technology Center ... structures at the nanoscale, we,ll discover them." , Some ... August during a conference called "The Nature of Light: ... of the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences. ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first ... a sixteenth century pig found at the site of ... that this ancient pig is closely related to today,s ... pigs were crossed with modern Iberian pigs. , The ... on evolutionary aspects of pig species, and particularly on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Mellon Foundation awards grant for major project in the humanities and sciences 2Nature's designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 2Nature's designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 3Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after 5 centuries 2
... mechanism has been discovered in a microorganism that thrives in ... key processes in human cells, and in a better understanding ... study is published today in the online version the American ... group at the Department of Molecular Evolution at Uppsala University ...
... innate defence system against deadly bacteria. However, how the step ... not yet known. To date, B. Pseudomallei, a ... can remain hidden in the human body for many years ... suddenly become activated and spread throughout the body, resulting in ...
... Measures to tackle the human impact on biodiversity ... countries working with common goals and frameworks. This ... European Science Foundation (ESF), which moved towards establishing ... and biodiversity analysis on the back of existing ...
Cached Biology News:New cell division mechanism discovered 2European biodiversity and ecosystem scientists merge and gear up for long-term research 2
(Date:9/16/2014)... , Sept. 16, 2014  Biocom, the association ... science community, recognizes the 9 th Annual National ... value of IT technologies in improving our health care ... is one of the world,s most vibrant hubs ... to mobile health applications to genomic testing to remote ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... COLUMBIA, Mo. From cell phones to cars ... everyday life. Scientists and technology companies constantly are ... Now, for the first time using a water-based ... created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery ... as a reliable energy source in automobiles and ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... (PRWEB) September 16, 2014 ... world’s most efficient method for delivering dissolved gases ... Equipment Inc. as a manufacturer’s representative firm ... gas dissolution products for municipal water and wastewater ... Quebec. , H2Flow was founded in 1992 and ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... , Sept. 16, 2014  Donald Fresne, President and ... of Stephan Vagner , PhD to its Scientific Advisory ... of Toulouse, France , performed research at ... , and at Inserm, the French institute of health and ... works both at the Curie Institute, Orsay, France ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biocom Recognizes National Health IT Week 2BlueInGreen® Expands into Canada – Signs Representative Agreement with H2Flow Equipment Inc. 2New Appointment to the Scientific Advisory Committee at Egenix, Inc. 2
... Gen-Probe Incorporated,(Nasdaq: GPRO ) announced today that the ... Conference on May 1, 2008 at,approximately 4:20 p.m. Eastern ... may be accessed through a link on the investors ... will be,available for 30 days following the event., ...
... Mass., April 24 Idenix,Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a corporate overview at the upcoming Morgan Stanley ... at 3:00 p.m.,ET at The Ritz Carlton in ... webcast of the company presentation can be,accessed under ...
... Commission Expected by Mid-2008, COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. ... Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: ... PGNX ), today announced that the companies,have ... subcutaneous injection from the Committee for Medicinal ...
Cached Biology Technology:Gen-Probe to Webcast Presentation at Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Unplugged Conference 2Wyeth and Progenics Receive Positive Opinion From European Committee for RELISTOR for the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Advanced-Illness Patients 2Wyeth and Progenics Receive Positive Opinion From European Committee for RELISTOR for the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Advanced-Illness Patients 3Wyeth and Progenics Receive Positive Opinion From European Committee for RELISTOR for the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Advanced-Illness Patients 4Wyeth and Progenics Receive Positive Opinion From European Committee for RELISTOR for the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Advanced-Illness Patients 5
... C1 Plus is a modular confocal system ... with an ultra-compact and lightweight design. The ... Plusboost optical performance to 400nm andits bi-directional ... support for X and Y scan axes ...
... integrated digital microscope and camera system that ... optical adjustment or software installation. Built on ... combines simplicity and advanced technology for users ... viewing of a macro image and a ...
... The TUNEL-based assay kit provides complete ... cells for convenient detection of DNA ... sections. The incorporation of BrdU in ... biotinylated or digoxigenylated methods. Results can ...
... The Fujifilm Life Science LAS-3000 ... technology with a simplified user interface, ... a wide range of modularities. The ... applications, and the perfect standard system ...
Biology Products: