1DUMMY the Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging

Tomoko Sakiyama, Yukio Pegio Gunji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The Müller-Lyer illusion is a classical geometric illusion in which the apparent (perceived) length of a line depends on whether the line terminates in an arrow tail or arrowhead. This effect may be caused by economic compensation for the gap between the physical stimulus and visual fields. Here, we show that the Müller-Lyer illusion can also be produced by the foraging patterns of garden ants (Lasius niger) and that the pattern obtained can be explained by a simple, asynchronously updated foraging ant model. Our results suggest that the geometric illusion may be a byproduct of the foraging process, in which local interactions underlying efficient exploitation can also give rise to global exploration, and that visual information processing in human could implement similar modulation between local efficient processing and widespread computation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere81714
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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