Volume 10 Supplement 1

Eighteenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2009

Open Access

How a sand scorpion determines the distance to its prey

BMC Neuroscience200910(Suppl 1):P114


Published: 13 July 2009

Poster presentation

The sand scorpion Paruroctonus mesaensis is able to determine the distance to its prey [1]. Experimental data shows that a sand scorpion, which has a diameter of 5 cm, can accurately determine distances up to 15 cm with an error of about 1 cm. For distances exceeding 15 cm, a scorpion must only move approximately 10 centimeters towards the source before receiving another cue. We have identified a mechanism that would allow a scorpion to match a unique pattern to each distance and developed a neuronal model that performs distance determination up to the precision needed. Generalization to other animals is considered.

Authors’ Affiliations

Physics Department, Technische Universität München


  1. Brownell PH: How the sand scorpion locates its prey. Science. 1977, 197: 497-482. 10.1126/science.197.4302.479.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Utz and van Hemmen; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.