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Nat Commun. 2019 Dec 6;10(1):5593. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13595-3.

Tuneable reflexes control antennal positioning in flying hawkmoths.

Author information

1
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK campus, Bellary road, Bangalore, 560065, India.
2
Division of Computational Science and Technology, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 10044, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, 576104, India.
4
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK campus, Bellary road, Bangalore, 560065, India. sane@ncbs.res.in.

Abstract

Complex behaviours may be viewed as sequences of modular actions, each elicited by specific sensory cues in their characteristic timescales. From this perspective, we can construct models in which unitary behavioural modules are hierarchically placed in context of related actions. Here, we analyse antennal positioning reflex in hawkmoths as a tuneable behavioural unit. Mechanosensory feedback from two antennal structures, Böhm's bristles (BB) and Johnston's organs (JO), determines antennal position. At flight onset, antennae attain a specific position, which is maintained by feedback from BB. Simultaneously, JO senses deflections in flagellum-pedicel joint due to frontal airflow, to modulate its steady-state position. Restricting JO abolishes positional modulation but maintains stability against perturbations. Linear feedback models are sufficient to predict antennal dynamics at various set-points. We modelled antennal positioning as a hierarchical neural-circuit in which fast BB feedback maintains instantaneous set-point, but slow JO feedback modulates it, thereby elucidating mechanisms underlying its robustness and flexibility.

PMID:
31811150
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-019-13595-3
Free PMC Article

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