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Psychol Sci. 2004 Jul;15(7):437-41.

How dogs navigate to catch frisbees.

Author information

  • 1Arizona State University West, USA. shaffer.247@osu.edu

Abstract

Using micro-video cameras attached to the heads of 2 dogs, we examined their optical behavior while catching Frisbees. Our 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.

PMID:
15200626
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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