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The classic study by Vincent1 illustrated that a rat's ability
 

Summary: The classic study by Vincent1
illustrated that a rat's ability
to navigate through a raised labyrinth depends on the
use of its whiskers. Whisker touch represents the major
channel through which rodents collect information from
the nearby environment. They use their whiskers -- also
called facial vibrissae -- to recognize the positions of
floors, walls and objects, particularly in dark surround-
ings. Once they encounter an object they collect addi-
tional information about its features, such as its size and
shape2
and surface texture36
, through an active process
called `whisking': a sweeping motion of the whiskers for-
wards and backwards to encounter objects and palpate
them7,8
, usually in conjunction with movement of the
head9,10
(see Supplementary information S1 (movie)).
Since neurophysiologists and anatomists began to

  

Source: Ahissar, Ehud - Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine