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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2006 Oct;192(10):1147-64. Epub 2006 Jul 8.

Control of swing movement: influences of differently shaped substrate.

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Faculty of Biology, University of Bielefeld, Postfach 100131, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany.


Stick insects were studied while walking on different substrates. The trajectories of swing movements are recorded. The starting position of a swing movement is varied in vertical direction and in the direction parallel to body long axis. The trajectories found cannot be predicted by an ANN (Swingnet1) proposed earlier to describe swing movements. However, a modified network (Swingnet2) allows for a satisfying description of the behavioral results. Walking on a narrow treadwheel leads to different swing trajectories compared to walking on a broad treadwheel. These trajectories cannot be described by Swingnet1, too. The form of the swing trajectory may depend on the direction of the force vector by which the leg acts on the ground in the preceding stance. Based on this assumption, an alternative hypothesis (Swingnet3) is proposed that can quantitatively describe all results of our experiment. When stick insects walk from a wide to a narrow substrate, transition between different swing trajectories does not change gradually over time. Rather, the form of the trajectory is determined by the current sensory input of the leg on a step-to-step basis. Finally, four different avoidance reflexes and their implementation into swing movements are investigated and described by a quantitative simulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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