RT Journal Article
SR Electronic
T1 The Euler spiral of rat whiskers
JF Science Advances
JO Sci Adv
FD American Association for the Advancement of Science
SP eaax5145
DO 10.1126/sciadv.aax5145
VO 6
IS 3
A1 Starostin, Eugene L.
A1 Grant, Robyn A.
A1 Dougill, Gary
A1 van der Heijden, Gert H. M.
A1 Goss, Victor G. A.
YR 2020
UL http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/3/eaax5145.abstract
AB This paper reports on an analytical study of the intrinsic shapes of 523 whiskers from 15 rats. We show that the variety of whiskers on a rat’s cheek, each of which has different lengths and shapes, can be described by a simple mathematical equation such that each whisker is represented as an interval on the Euler spiral. When all the representative curves of mystacial vibrissae for a single rat are assembled together, they span an interval extending from one coiled domain of the Euler spiral to the other. We additionally find that each whisker makes nearly the same angle of 47∘ with the normal to the spherical virtual surface formed by the tips of whiskers, which constitutes the rat’s tactile sensory shroud or “search space.” The implications of the linear curvature model for gaining insight into relationships between growth, form, and function are discussed.