Inertial guidance systems in insects: From the neurobiology to the structural mechanics of biological gyroscopes

Thomas L. Daniel, Alexandre Dieudonne, Jessica Fox, Cameron Myhrvold, Sanjay Sane, Barry Wark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Flying insects employ a vast array of sensory modalities to coordinate complex aerial maneuvers with incredible speed and acuity. One central feature underlying this is their ability to rapidly acquire and process information about rotational motion. In Diptera (flies), gyroscopic sensing is accomplished with halteres, organs that are derived from hindwings. In Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), antennae have been recently suggested to serve this crucial function. Here we review the biomechanical and sensory aspects of these biological gyroscopes. We focus on past and ongoing research to understand how the physical and physiological aspects of these inertial guidance units interact to determine their functional performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication63rd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Navigation 2007
Pages130-136
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event63rd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Navigation 2007 - Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2007Apr 25 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting - Institute of Navigation

Conference

Conference63rd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Navigation 2007
CountryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA
Period4/23/074/25/07

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transportation
  • Aerospace Engineering

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