Dead Reckoning

Douglas G. Wallace and Ian Q. Whishaw

in The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195162851
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863891 | DOI:
 Dead Reckoning

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Rats may use at least two navigational strategies that aid in the recovery of resources and protection from predation: allothetic and idiothetic. Allothetic navigation involves the use of external cues (visual, auditory, or olfactory cues). Idiothetic navigation involves the use of uses cues generated by self-movement (proprioceptive and vestibular cues, sensory flow, or efferent copies of movement commands). A prominent form of idiothetic navigation is dead reckoning, in which a rat locates its present position in relation to a starting position, to which it can return. This chapter presents behavioral techniques used to investigate dead reckoning and describes a theoretical framework for dead reckoning.

Keywords: laboratory rats; anti-predator behavior; idiothetic navigation; navigational strategies; predation; allothetic navigation

Chapter.  4788 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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