Head-bobbing of pigeons during walking and landing was studied using high-speed motion photography.
The analysis of film records indicated that head-bobbing whilst walking consists of two phases: one where the head is ‘locked’ in space but moves backward relative to its forward moving body; and another where it is thrust rapidly forward to a new position.
The fact that head-bobbing is abolished when pigeons walk on a treadmill suggests it is primarily a visual response rather than an equilibratory response.
Data are presented which show that stabilization during the ‘lock’ phase allows a small degree of slippage which is the probable source of error signals for compensatory head movements.
The head-bobbing that appears to occur during landing is shown to be illusory.
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JOURNAL ARTICLE| 01 June 1978
The Optokinetic Basis of Head-bobbing in the Pigeon
B. J. FROST
1 Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Revision Received: 19 Sep 1977
Online Issn: 1477-9145
Print Issn: 0022-0949
© 1978 by Company of Biologists
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B. J. FROST; The Optokinetic Basis of Head-bobbing in the Pigeon. J Exp Biol 1 June 1978; 74 (1): 187–195. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.74.1.187
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