Document Detail


Neuromechanical response of musculo-skeletal structures in cockroaches during rapid running on rough terrain.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18203999     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A musculo-skeletal structure can stabilize rapid locomotion using neural and/or mechanical feedback. Neural feedback results in an altered feedforward activation pattern, whereas mechanical feedback using visco-elastic structures does not require a change in the neural motor code. We selected musculo-skeletal structures in the cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis) because their single motor neuron innervation allows the simplest possible characterization of activation. We ran cockroaches over a track with randomized blocks of heights up to three times the animal's ;hip' (1.5 cm), while recording muscle action potentials (MAPs) from a set of putative control musculo-skeletal structures (femoral extensors 178 and 179). Animals experienced significant perturbations in body pitch, roll and yaw, but reduced speed by less than 20%. Surprisingly, we discovered no significant difference in the distribution of the number of MAPs, the interspike interval, burst phase or interburst period between flat and rough terrain trials. During a few very large perturbations or when a single leg failed to make contact throughout stance, neural feedback was detectable as a phase shift of the central rhythm and alteration of MAP number. System level responses of appendages were consistent with a dominant role of mechanical feedback. Duty factors and gait phases did not change for cockroaches running on flat versus rough terrain. Cockroaches did not use a follow-the-leader gait requiring compensatory corrections on a step-by-step basis. Arthropods appear to simplify control on rough terrain by rapid running that uses kinetic energy to bridge gaps between footholds and distributed mechanical feedback to stabilize the body.
Authors:
S Sponberg; R J Full
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  211     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-21     Completed Date:  2008-05-01     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  433-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. sponberg@berkeley.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Action Potentials / physiology
Animals
Biomechanics
Cockroaches / physiology*
Gait / physiology
Male
Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
Running / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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