Cover: New technology constantly opens up possibilities for research in orientation and navigation. Combining different sensors allows especially detailed insights into the behaviour of animals in the wild. Here, an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) is carrying a tag that records movement through acceleration, position via GPS and echolocation with a microphone. In their review, Greif and Yovel (jeb184689) demonstrate how sound recordings on animals can be used to infer a variety of behaviours. This could be vocalisations like echolocation calls (in red), but also wing beat during flight (illustrated with an oscillogram in yellow, confirmed through acceleration recordings in blue). Photo credit: Stefan Greif.
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Special Issue: Linking Brain and Behaviour in Animal Navigation
Olfactory navigation in aquatic gastropods
Summary: Review of the past research and future prospects for understanding odour-based navigation behaviour by gastropods, covering behavioural patterns, navigational strategies and neural underpinnings.
Behavioural and neuronal basis of olfactory imprinting and kin recognition in larval fish
Summary: This Review focuses on olfactory imprinting processes that numerous species use to recognize kin or their natal environment later in life.
There and back again: natal homing by magnetic navigation in sea turtles and salmon
Summary: New findings indicate that long-distance natal homing in salmon and sea turtles involves an ability to navigate back to the magnetic signature of the home area.
The internal maps of insects
Summary: Insect behaviour can be explained as a combination of path integration, vector memory and view memory, but what is the evidence that these geometric capabilities form an integrated map?
The genetics and epigenetics of animal migration and orientation: birds, butterflies and beyond
Summary: This Review summarizes our understanding of the genetics and epigenetics of animal migration and outlines a vision to harness both technical advances and comparative approaches to move the field forward.
Summary: The behavioral evidence for Euclidean cognitive maps is unpersuasive. Recent experiments indicate that human spatial knowledge is better described by a labeled graph, which incorporates local distance and angle information.
Using on-board sound recordings to infer behaviour of free-moving wild animals
Summary: We review new possibilities for monitoring the behaviour of wild animals in the field using on-board audio recordings.
The potential of virtual reality for spatial navigation research across the adult lifespan
Summary: This Review describes how virtual reality is used to study spatial navigation across species and discusses the benefits and challenges when using it in older age groups.
The insect central complex and the neural basis of navigational strategies
Summary: Neural circuits of the insect central complex are involved in guiding multiple navigation strategies, and the emerging core circuit for navigational decisions might provide an overarching framework of central-complex function.
Celestial navigation in Drosophila
Summary: In this Review, we describe how the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, uses the position of the sun and the pattern of polarized skylight to maintain a constant heading during long-distance dispersal flights.
The brain behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles
Summary: Insights into the neural mechanisms underlying compass orientation in dung beetles are placed into the context of the mechanisms of other insects.
Origin and role of path integration in the cognitive representations of the hippocampus: computational insights into open questions
Summary: Path integration is one of the fundamental computations giving rise to the cognitive map and possibly other non-spatial representations in the hippocampal formation and its subcortical afferents.
Merging information in the entorhinal cortex: what can we learn from robotics experiments and modeling?
Summary: Grid cells related to path integration and vision are explained as modulo projections of different cortical activities. The entorhinal cortex appears as a generic merging tool building hash codes.
Navigation and the developing brain
Summary: Spatial development in humans takes a decade or more to unfold, and involves tuning initial systems in response to changing motor capacities and environmental feedback.
The navigational nose: a new hypothesis for the function of the human external pyramid
Summary: The human nose respires and sniffs yet current theory addresses only its respiratory function; the nose may also allow stereo olfaction and may have evolved for this in early Homo.
New funding schemes for junior faculty staff
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, JEB has launched two new grants to support junior faculty staff working in animal comparative physiology and biomechanics who are within five years of setting up their first lab/research group. Check out our ECR Visiting Fellowships and Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants. First deadline for applications is 15 July 2023.
JEB@100: an interview with Monitoring Editor Sanjay Sane
Sanjay Sane tells us about his first experience of publishing with the journal and why he thinks JEB is going to play a key role in our understanding of the current climate crisis and its implications for biodiversity.
The Forest of Biologists
The Forest of Biologists is a biodiversity initiative created by The Company of Biologists, with support from the Woodland Trust. For every Research and Review article published in Journal of Experimental Biology a native tree is planted in a UK forest. In addition to this we are protecting and restoring ancient woodland and are dedicating these trees to our peer reviewers. Visit our virtual forest to learn more.
Celebrating 100 years of discovery
This Special Issue focuses on broad biological questions addressed through the lens of comparative biomechanics. Crosscutting through time, this series of Reviews, Commentaries and Research Articles addresses questions from the vantage points of the history of the field, today’s research, and the future of comparative biomechanics. Read the Editorial by Sheila Patek, Monica Daley and Sanjay Sane.
Centenary Review - Adaptive echolocation behavior
Cynthia F. Moss and colleagues Review the behaviours used by echolocating mammals to track and intercept moving prey, interrogate dynamic sonar scenes, and exploit visual and passive acoustic stimuli.
Crucial DNA at crux of insect wing size evolution
Keity Farfán-Pira and colleagues have revealed that a tiny region of regulatory DNA in the vestigial gene governs whether insect wings are large or small and has played a key role in the evolution of insect wing size.