PSY362H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Visual Angle, Spatial Cognition, Conifer Cone

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17 Nov 2014
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PSY362 October 20, 2014
Presentation proposals
- Concept: some indication of what it is your actually studying
- Set up details and structure of what you are going to do for the presenation
oExample:
Introduction; historical perspective (usually a few key pieces of
information)
- Include articles and material that is going to support the topic
- Have a plan of how you are going to work together as a group
- Should be about 2-3 pages
Spatial Cognition
- Notion of what animals can perceive within their environment
- Some animals have unique sets of navigational skills
Cognitive Map
- First thing we have to consider is the basic psychological mechanism that enables
animals to do this
- The alternative: using specific orientation mechanisms
- Need to look for different kinds of mechanisms
- Look at how animals search their environment and look for particular landmarks
A broader view of spatial cognition
- More straight forward cues:
oDead reckoning
oLandmarks
oBeacons
oEnvironmental land shape
- Where or not animals are able to combine different forms of navigation together
Mechanisms for spatial orientation
- = path integration
- Whereby sails navigate through their environment without any additional visual cues
- Without this, we use other features
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- Assumption of your whereabouts
Homing by dead reckoning in desert ants
- Are one of the few that we know are capable of teaching
- There are typically for few cues they can use
- In the desert they have to be pretty efficient about it
- Early hypothesis: ants would just retrace their steps
- Return home based on some kind of internal sense
Dead reckoning in desert ants: a test
- Have an internal cue of where their nest is and head straight back
- Ants where able to compensate for they were moved
- Have an idea of where their nest is supposed to be
- Black dot represents where the nest should have been (except they were offset by 20
meters)
- Behaviour shows that an ant has to be engaging in some sort of path recognition
- Somehow aware of where their orientation of the nest is and the approximate distance of
that
Distance measured by counting steps: ants on stilts and stumps
- Have an internal pedometer that tells them how far they have gone
- Artificially lengthening and shortening their strides
- Predicated data: Since ants with stilts would have a longer stride length, they would
count the number of steps so they would over run their nest
- Experimental data: largely supports what was predicted
Ant odometry (distance computations)
- Have some sense of the effort they put in
- Date: ants may be aware of the fact that they are going uphill
- Ants are sensitive to route and distance
How do they orient?
- Vestibular cue:
- Basic orientation response: mother knows where the nest is and quickly moves her
babies back to it if they are moved
- If nest is moved quickly then the mother becomes aware and moves her babies to the
new location
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Document Summary

Concept: some indication of what it is your actually studying. Set up details and structure of what you are going to do for the presenation: example: Introduction; historical perspective (usually a few key pieces of information) Include articles and material that is going to support the topic. Have a plan of how you are going to work together as a group. Notion of what animals can perceive within their environment. Some animals have unique sets of navigational skills. First thing we have to consider is the basic psychological mechanism that enables animals to do this. Need to look for different kinds of mechanisms. Look at how animals search their environment and look for particular landmarks. More straight forward cues: dead reckoning, landmarks, beacons, environmental land shape. Where or not animals are able to combine different forms of navigation together. Whereby sails navigate through their environment without any additional visual cues.

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