Oct 25, 2018

Unraveling intra- and intersegmental neuronal connectivity between central pattern generating networks in a multi-legged locomotor system

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Silvia DaunNils Rosjat


Animal walking results from a complex interplay of central pattern generating networks (CPGs), local sensory signals expressing position, velocity and forces generated in the legs, and coordinating signals between neighboring ones. In the stick insect intra- and intersegmental coordination is conveyed by these sensory signals. The CPGs control the activity of motoneuron pools and are thereby responsible for the generation of rhythmic leg movements. The rhythmic activity of the CPGs can be modified by the aforementioned sensory signals. However, the precise nature of the interaction between the CPGs and these sensory signals has remained largely unknown. Experimental methods aiming at finding out details of these interactions often apply the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, pilocarpine in order to induce rhythmic activity in the CPGs. Using this general approach, we removed the influence of sensory signals and investigated the putative connections between CPGs associated with the coxa-trochanter (CTr)-joint in the different segments (legs) in more detail. The experimental data underwent connectivity analysis using Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM). This method can uncover the underlying coupling structure and strength bet...Continue Reading

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