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What does the honeybee see? And how do we know?

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ISBN: 9781921536991 Year: Pages: 359 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459768 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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This book is the only account of what the bee, as an example of an insect, actually detects with its eyes. Bees detect some visual features such as edges and colours, but there is no sign that they reconstruct patterns or put together features to form objects. Bees detect motion but have no perception of what it is that moves, and certainly they do not recognize “things” by their shapes. Yet they clearly see well enough to fly and find food with a minute brain. Bee vision is therefore relevant to the construction of simple artificial visual systems, for example for mobile robots. The surprising conclusion is that bee vision is adapted to the recognition of places, not things. In this volume, Adrian Horridge also sets out the curious and contentious history of how bee vision came to be understood, with an account of a century of neglect of old experimental results, errors of interpretation, sharp disagreements, and failures of the scientific method. The design of the experiments and the methods of making inferences from observations are also critically examined, with the conclusion that scientists are often hesitant, imperfect and misleading, ignore the work of others, and fail to consider alternative explanations. The erratic path to understanding makes interesting reading for anyone with an analytical mind who thinks about the methods of science or the engineering of seeing machines.

Keywords

vision --- robot vision --- bee --- insects

Metal Biology Takes Flight: The Study of Metal Homeostasis and Detoxification in Insects

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455560 Year: Pages: 144 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-556-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Genetics --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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Metals such as copper, iron, manganese, and zinc are clearly required for proper metabolism and development, while imbalances can lead to systemic dysfunction and disease. As a result, organisms have evolved complex genetic systems for the regulation of metal levels, including import, export, and sequestration of metals within cells and sub-cellular compartments.

The study of metal biology in insects has the potential to greatly expand our understanding of metal biology. The results of such studies might point to new possible therapeutic interventions for neurological and other human diseases, as well as new strategies for insect disease vector control.

The articles collected in this Research Topic comprise review and original research on metal biology in insects.

Plasticity in the sensory systems of invertebrates

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192816 Year: Pages: 78 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-281-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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The visual, olfactory, auditory and gustatory systems of invertebrates are often used as models to study the transduction, transmission and processing of information in nervous systems, and in recent years have also provided powerful models of neural plasticity. This Research Topic presents current views on plasticity and its mechanisms in invertebrate sensory systems at the cellular, molecular and network levels, approached from both physiological and morphological perspectives. Plasticity in sensory systems can be activity- dependent, or occur in response to changes in the environment, or to endogenous stimuli. Plastic changes have been reported in receptor neurons, but are also known in other cell types, including glial cells and sensory interneurons. Also reported are dynamic changes among neuronal circuits involved in transmitting sensory stimuli and in reorganizing of synaptic contacts within a particular sensory system. Plastic changes within sensory systems in invertebrates can also be reported during development, after injury and after short or long- term stimulation. All these changes occur against an historical backdrop which viewed invertebrate nervous systems as largely hard-wired, and lacking in susceptibility especially to activity-dependent changes. This Research Topic examines how far we have moved from this simple view of simple brains, to the realization that invertebrate sensory systems exhibit all the diversity of plastic changes seen in vertebrate brains, but among neurons in which such changes can be evaluated at single-cell level.

Functional Characterization of Insect Chemoreceptors: Receptivity Range, Expression and Evolution

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198603 Year: Pages: 163 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-860-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Ecology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Olfaction and taste are of critical importance to insects and other animals, since vital behaviours, including mate, food and host seeking, as well as predator and toxin avoidance, are guided by chemosensory cues. Mate and habitat choice are to a large extent determined by chemical signals, and chemoreceptors contribute accordingly to pre-mating isolation barriers and speciation. In addition to fundamental physiological, ecological and evolutionary consideration, the knowledge of insect taste and especially olfaction is also of great importance to human economies, since it facilitates a more informed approach to the management of insect pests of agricultural crops and forests, and insect vectors of disease. Chemoreceptors, which bind to external chemical signals and then transform and send the sensory information to the brain, are at the core of the peripheral olfactory and gustatory system and have thus been the focus of recent research in chemical ecology. Specifically, emphasis has been placed on functional characterization of olfactory receptor genes, which are derived from three large gene families, namely the odorant receptors, gustatory receptors and ionotropic receptors. Spatial expression patterns of olfactory receptors in diverse chemosensory tissues provide information on divergent functions, with regards to ecologically relevant behaviours. On the other hand, characterization of olfactory receptor activation profiles, or “deorphanization”, provides complimentary data on the molecular range of receptivity to the fundamental unit of the olfactory sense. The aim of this Research Topic is to give an update on the breadth and depth of research currently in progress related to understanding the molecular mechanisms of insect chemoreception, with specific emphasis on the olfactory receptors.

Ballroom Biology: Recent Insights into Honey Bee Waggle Dance Communications

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197651 Year: Pages: 80 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-765-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Ecology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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The honey bee waggle dance communication is a complex, unique, at times controversial, and ultimately fascinating behavior. In an elaborate figure-of-eight movement, a returning forager conveys the distance and direction from the hive to resources, usually the nectar and pollen that is their food, and it remains one of the most sophisticated, known forms of non-human communication. Not surprisingly, since its discovery more than 60 years ago by Karl von Frisch, the dance has been subject to investigations that span from basic biology through human culture and neurophysiology to landscape ecology. Here we collate recent advances in our understanding of the dance.

Social Interaction in Animals: Linking Experimental Approach and Social Network Analysis

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451227 Year: Pages: 123 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-122-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Understanding the link between individual behaviour and population organization and functioning has long been central to ecology and evolutionary biology. Behaviour is a response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors including individual state, ecological factors or social interactions. Within a group, each individual can be seen as part of a network of social interactions varying in strength, type and dynamic. The structure of this network can deeply impact the ecology and evolution of individuals, populations and species. Within a group social interactions can take many forms and may significantly affect an individual’s fitness. These interactions may result in complex systems at the group-level, such as in the case of collective decisions (to migrate, to build nest or to forage). Among them, social transmission of information has been studied mostly in vertebrates: fish, birds and mammals including humans. In insects, social learning has been unambiguously demonstrated in social Hymenoptera but this probably reflects limited research effort and recent evidence show that even non-eusocial insects such as Drosophila, cockroaches and crickets can copy the behaviour of others. Compared to individual learning, which requires a trial and error period every generation, social learning can potentially result in the stable transmission of behaviours across generations, leading to cultural traditions in some species. The study of the processes which may facilitate or prevent this transmission and the analyses of the relationship between social network structure and efficiency of social transmission became these recent years an emerging and promising field of research. The goal of this research topic is to present the genetic and socio-environmental factors affecting social interaction and information or pathogen transmission with the integration of experimental approaches, social network analyses and modelling. Importantly, we aim to understand whether a relationship between social network structures and dynamics can reflect the efficiency of social transmission, i.e. can we use social network analysis to predict the social transmission of information or of pathogen, collective decision-making and ultimately the evolutionary trajectory of a group?

Advances in Plant-Hemipteran Interactions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453214 Year: Pages: 236 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-321-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Botany
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Hemipterans encompass a large group of insect pests of plants that utilize mouthparts which are modified for piercing and consuming fluids from plants. In addition, hemipterans vector viral and bacterial diseases of plants. This book brings together a set of reviews and research papers that showcase the the range of activities being undertaken to advance our understanding of the multi-organismal interaction between plant, hemipterans and microbes.

Current Trends of Insect Physiology and Population Dynamics: Modeling Insect Phenology, Demography, and Circadian Rhythms in Variable Environments

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454891 Year: Pages: 155 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-489-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The current eBook collection includes substantial scientific work in describing how insect species are responding to abiotic factors and recent climatic trends on the basis of insect physiology and population dynamics. The contributions can be broadly split into four chapters: the first chapter focuses on the function of environmental and mostly temperature driven models, to identify the seasonal emergence and population dynamics of insects, including some important pests. The second chapter provides additional examples on how such models can be used to simulate the effect of climate change on insect phenology and population dynamics. The third chapter focuses on describing the effects of nutrition, gene expression and phototaxis in relation to insect demography, growth and development, whilst the fourth chapter provides a short description on the functioning of circadian systems as well as on the evolutionary dynamics of circadian clocks.

The Insect Central Complex - From Sensory Coding to Directing Movement

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455782 Year: Pages: 179 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-578-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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The most fundamental function of the brain is the analysis and integration of sensory information in order to generate motor commands that result in directed, meaningful interactions with the environment. This process can be viewed as an internal comparison between the current state of the world and a desired state of the world, with any mismatch leading to compensatory action. For an animal to respond to external stimuli in a directed way in any given sensory situation, it first has to assess the orientation of its body with reference to the environment. The current body position computed in this way then has to be matched against the desired position, and any resulting discrepancy has to be compensated for by a change in limb position, movement direction, or a transition to a new movement mode. The desired body orientation depends on many different parameters, such as the animal’s nutritional state, its reproductive status, the time of day, the current behavioral state, or previous experience. Vertebrate brains process these parameters across diverse brain regions, involving millions of neurons, a fact that makes pinpointing the underlying circuitry a daunting endeavor.Across insects, a single brain area, the central complex, is involved in many of the mentioned fundamental processes: It contains an ordered array of head direction cells, its neurons are targeted by multisensory input pathways, visual and spatial memories reside in this region, and certain central-complex neurons are active just before movements of the animal, predicting its future turning direction. Additionally, state-dependent changes of neural response characteristics and a vast supply of neuromodulators suggests a highly dynamic, context-dependent remodeling of local circuitry. All of this places the central complex at the interface of sensory processing and motor planning, providing a location at which current and desired heading could be compared and adequate action can be selected in response. The highly regular, almost crystalline neuroarchitecture of this region has the advantage of enabling us to immediately connect structure with function - at the level of identified, individual neurons. The neural algorithms implemented in the circuitry that mediate action selection are thus uniquely accessible in this brain region. This research topic therefore aims at connecting the diverse aspects of central-complex function and develop an open-source framework in which to embed current knowledge (reviews) and novel findings from biological, theoretical, and engineering perspectives (original research articles, short communications). Four complementary sub-topics provide the main focus: 1) The current state of the world - Encoding and integration of sensory information; 2) Generating behavior - Motor planning and neural correlates of behavior; 3) Computing the desired state of the world - Integration of internal state, memory, and behavioral state; 4) Neural hardware and algorithms - The underlying circuits and computations of the central complex. By illuminating structure-function relations on multiple levels in diverse species, within a brain region that is omnipresent across insects, we aim at exposing fundamental principles that enable animals to generate adaptive behavior despite inhabiting a world of an infinite number of possible sensory scenarios.

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