Why did scientists use the world of augmented reality?
Bats and dolphins emit sound waves to feel their surroundings; electric fishes generate current to detect movement outside their shelter; and people use their eyes to perceive objects in their field of vision.
Each of these examples is a kind of “active sensing” – a process of the animal world, which includes the production of motion, sound or other signals to collect sensory feedback about the environment. However, until now it was not clear how the brain controls it. The main mystery remained of how closely connected it is scanning with a sensitive response that it creates.
World of augmented reality for fish
In a new study, scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology used AR technology to change this connection and uncover the mysterious dynamics between active scanning and sensory feedback. The results are supposed that the knifefish was applied the system of double monitoring for treatment response that may be inherent in all animals.
The researchers say the report, published in the journal Current Biology, could make a difference both in neuroscience and in the development of new artificial systems – from cars with automatic control to robotics.
According to Eric Fortune, the leading scientist of the project, the most important thing in the program is that it gave the opportunity to study behavior in a way that was not available for more than ten years. He also noted that this is the first of its kind experiment in which AR was used in real time to scan the environment.
Glass knifefish is a kind of electric fish living in the Amazon basin, which is known to hide in shelters to avoid the threat of predators. According to scientists, this species can demonstrate a magnetic ability to hold a fixed position within its shelter. A team of scientists has sought to learn how the fish controls this sensitive behavior, disrupting the way it perceives its movement relative to its shelter.
They had long known that this species could follow the position of its own refuge. However, as a result of the project, it turned out that fish produce eye movements at this moment. As a result, the researchers came up with the idea to create an augmented reality system to observe how the sensory and motor activity are interconnected.
For their experiment, they placed a weakly electric fish in the tube on which the image was projected. In fact, from a technical point of view, the project was a mixture of augmented and virtual reality.
To increase the naturalness of action, the moving picture mechanism was in sync with the eyes of the animal. That is, when it changed their direction, then the pictures of the pipe adjusted to them. By the way, it is worth noting that at one point the fish realized that it is in an artificial environment. It began to play by the rules of scientists and as a result adjusted the whole mechanism of the device.