How Dogs Navigate to Catch Frisbees

Dennis M. Shaffer, Scott M. Krauchunas, Marianna Eddy and Michael K. McBeath

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI:
How Dogs Navigate to Catch Frisbees

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Using micro-video cameras attached to the heads of two dogs, this chapter examines their optical behavior while catching Frisbees. The chapter's findings reveal that dogs use the same viewer-based navigational heuristics previously found with baseball players (i.e., maintaining the target along a linear optical trajectory, LOT, with optical speed constancy). On trials in which the Frisbee dramatically changed direction, the dog maintained an LOT with speed constancy until it apparently could no longer do so and then simply established a new LOT and optical speed until interception. This work demonstrates the use of simple control mechanisms that utilize invariant geometric properties to accomplish interceptive tasks. It confirms a common interception strategy that extends both across species and to complex target trajectories.

Keywords: heuristics; animals; gaze; interception

Chapter.  3439 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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