The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species

Domenici P, Schmitz J, Jamon M (1999)
Journal of Experimental Biology 202(22): 3069-3080.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Curve walking in two species of crayfish, Procambarus clarkii and Astacus leptodactylus , was investigated to test whether the mechanism underlying curve walking is the synchronous action of a centrally pre-programmed leg tripod or whether it is the action of one principal leg that produces the main body yaw torque. Curve walking was induced by an optomotor visual stimulus, and the yaw torque produced by the tethered animals was measured in open-loop conditions. Our main results suggest that the yaw torque oscillations in both P. clarkii and A. leptodactylus are related to the movement of outer leg 4 (i.e. leg 4 on the outside of the turn). That is, the peaks in the yaw torque occur, on average, in synchrony with the power stroke of outer leg 4. When comparing the results of this open-loop experiment on P. clarkii with results previously obtained for curve walking in untethered individuals of the same species, we found a much higher variability in leg coordination in the open-loop situation. Similarly, here we did not find the same level of synchrony in the tripod (formed by outer leg 4 and inner legs 2 and 5) observed during untethered free walking. Therefore, we suggest that tethered conditions may diminish the need for stability and thus allow outer leg 4 to produce a body rotation regardless of the leg stepping configuration. The characteristics of leg 4 are in line with its major role in turning. According to previous studies, legs 4 provide the largest force and the largest step amplitude during walking, and their force includes both a pulling and a pushing component which can facilitate the control of turning. Although it is apparent that outer leg 4 is not the only leg that can produce an inward yaw torque, its major role in modulating the yaw torque suggests that there may be a specific, centrally generated control of outer leg 4 during curve walking in crayfish.
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Domenici P, Schmitz J, Jamon M. The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species. Journal of Experimental Biology. 1999;202(22):3069-3080.
Domenici, P., Schmitz, J., & Jamon, M. (1999). The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species. Journal of Experimental Biology, 202(22), 3069-3080.
Domenici, P., Schmitz, J., and Jamon, M. (1999). The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species. Journal of Experimental Biology 202, 3069-3080.
Domenici, P., Schmitz, J., & Jamon, M., 1999. The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species. Journal of Experimental Biology, 202(22), p 3069-3080.
P. Domenici, J. Schmitz, and M. Jamon, “The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species”, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 202, 1999, pp. 3069-3080.
Domenici, P., Schmitz, J., Jamon, M.: The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species. Journal of Experimental Biology. 202, 3069-3080 (1999).
Domenici, P., Schmitz, Josef, and Jamon, M. “The relationship between leg stepping pattern and yaw torque oscillations in curve walking of two crayfish species”. Journal of Experimental Biology 202.22 (1999): 3069-3080.
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