Dead Reckoning: An animal’s inability to see, smell, echolocate, or feel its way around an environment does not necessarily preclude successful navigation. Instead an animal may use a mechanism called dead reckoning to navigate. A navigator’s phrase, dead reckoning, is also synonymous with path integration, meaning the organism uses cumulative information about its distance and direction to find a way back to the origin of the journey (Shettleworth 2010). Dead reckoning, as described by Gallistel (1990) is defined as an egocentric mode of navigation (see Egocentric Frame) that is based on the individual localizing with respect to itself. Egocentric navigation explains how a human can move around an unfamiliar darkened room with some limited success, capable of returning to a starting point after fumbling around the space for a few minutes. In these instances, an organism may use self-referential vestibular cues (Etienne et al. 1986), sensory input from leg mechanoreceptors (Seyfarth...
- Gallistel, C. R. (1990). The organization of learning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Mittelstaedt, H., & Mittelstaedt, M. L. (1982). Homing by path integration. In F. Papi & H. G. Wallraff (Eds.), Avian navigation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Shettleworth, S. (2010). Cognition, evolution and behavior (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Watson, J. B. (1907). Kinaesthetic and organic sensations: Their role in the reaction of the white rat to the maze. Psychological Review, 8, i-101 (Monogram).Google Scholar