1. Neuroscience
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Body side-specific control of motor activity during turning in a walking animal

  1. Matthias Gruhn  Is a corresponding author
  2. Philipp Rosenbaum
  3. Till Bockemühl
  4. Ansgar Büschges
  1. University of Cologne, Germany
Research Article
  • Cited 9
  • Views 1,193
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e13799 doi: 10.7554/eLife.13799

Abstract

Animals and humans need to move deftly and flexibly to adapt to environmental demands. Despite a large body of work on the neural control of walking in invertebrates and vertebrates alike, the mechanisms underlying the motor flexibility that is needed to adjust the motor behavior remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated optomotor-induced turning and the neuronal mechanisms underlying the differences between the leg movements of the two body sides in the stick insect Carausius morosus. We present data to show that the generation of turning kinematics in an insect are the combined result of descending unilateral commands that change the leg motor output via task-specific modifications in the processing of local sensory feedback as well as modification of the activity of local central pattern generating networks in a body-side-specific way. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the specificity of such modifications in a defined motor task.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Matthias Gruhn

    Department of Animal Physiology, Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
    For correspondence
    mgruhn@uni-koeln.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Philipp Rosenbaum

    Department of Animal Physiology, Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Till Bockemühl

    Department of Animal Physiology, Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Ansgar Büschges

    Department of Animal Physiology, Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: December 14, 2015
  2. Accepted: April 25, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 27, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 6, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Gruhn et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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