Professor Koichi Hashimoto of the Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University and his colleagues have conducted a large-scale fusion research project "Biological Navigation System Science" to elucidate the mechanism of "navigation" in which organisms select an appropriate route to reach their destination. Announced that it will be launched.
In the project, the brain of living organisms is regarded as a "system that generates navigation", and the movement of animals is mathematically modeled and understood and applied mainly by 10 researchers involved in control engineering, data science, ecology, and neuroscience. Aim to do.
"Movement" is considered to be one of the most important life activities for animals.In moving, selecting an appropriate route to reach the destination is called "navigation", and in navigation, environmental information such as surrounding sounds and odors and internal information such as heart rate and blood sugar level are used for moving behavior. It is said that the ability to reflect on is indispensable.
If the navigation of this animal can be elucidated, predicted and controlled, effective utilization of biological resources, prevention of the spread of infectious diseases such as bird flu and mosquito-borne dengue fever and Zika fever, and further, elderly wandering and infant lost children It is said to be a clue to solving a wide range of social problems such as behavior prediction and efficient driving control of cars and robots.
On the other hand, with the development of ultra-small GPS, portable devices, data loggers (recording devices), etc., it is becoming possible to record detailed navigation performed by humans and animals, and these cutting-edge technologies are ecologists studying animals. Currently, there are few opportunities for it to be used by neuroscientists.
Against this background, the new academic field "System Science of Biological Navigation" transcends the boundaries of research fields and brings together experts in control engineering, data science, ecology, and neuroscience to measure and measure animal navigation. We will proceed with research through the four processes of analysis, understanding, and verification.