What is it about?

Animals often use odors to send messages that travel across long distances, carried by the wind. At the receiver’s end, the signal arrives attenuated and mangled by the turbulent atmospheric flow. Nevertheless, they are able to decode the sequence of sparse odor encounters and use this information about the source location to implement a successful search strategy. But how do they do it?

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Why is it important?

We show in a computational model of olfactory search that finite-state controllers, very simple algorithmic devices endowed with a minimal memory, are rich enough to explain the occurrence of several behavioral patterns that are indeed observed in nature. Our research offers insights into how memory structures influence decision-making in biological systems and has implications for robotics applications.

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This page is a summary of: Olfactory search with finite-state controllers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2304230120.
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