Detection of magnetic field properties using distributed sensing: a computational neuroscience approach.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Diverse taxa use Earth's magnetic field to aid both short- and long-distance navigation. Study of these behaviors has led to a variety of postulated sensory and processing mechanisms that remain unconfirmed. Although several models have been proposed to explain and understand these mechanisms' underpinnings, they have not necessarily connected a putative sensory signal to the nervous system. Using mathematical software simulation, hardware testing and the computational neuroscience tool of dynamic neural fields, the present work implements a previously developed conceptual model for processing magnetite-based magnetosensory data. Results show that the conceptual model, originally constructed to stimulate thought and generate insights into future physiological experiments, may provide a valid approach to encoding magnetic field information. Specifically, magnetoreceptors that are each individually capable of sensing directional information can, as a population, encode magnetic intensity and direction. The findings hold promise both as a biological magnetoreception concept and for generating engineering innovations in sensing and processing.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Taylor, BK; Johnsen, S; Lohmann, KJ

Published Date

  • May 19, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 036013 -

PubMed ID

  • 28524068

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1748-3190

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1748-3182

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1088/1748-3190/aa6ccd


  • eng