A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects

Dallmann C, Hoinville T, Dürr V, Schmitz J (2017)
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284(1868): 20171755.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Animals rely on an adaptive coordination of legs during walking. However, which specific mechanisms underlie coordination during natural locomotion remains largely unknown. One hypothesis is that legs can be coordinated mechanically based on a transfer of body load from one leg to another. To test this hypothesis, we simultaneously recorded leg kinematics, ground reaction forces and muscle activity in freely walking stick insects (Carausius morosus). Based on torque calculations, we show that load sensors (campaniform sensilla) at the proximal leg joints are well suited to encode the unloading of the leg in individual steps. The unloading coincides with a switch from stance to swing muscle activity, consistent with a load reflex promoting the stance-to-swing transition. Moreover, a mechanical simulation reveals that the unloading can be ascribed to the loading of a specific neighboring leg, making it exploitable for inter-leg coordination. We propose that mechanically mediated load-based coordination is used across insects analogously to mammals.
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Dallmann C, Hoinville T, Dürr V, Schmitz J. A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2017;284(1868): 20171755.
Dallmann, C., Hoinville, T., Dürr, V., & Schmitz, J. (2017). A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1868), 20171755. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1755
Dallmann, C., Hoinville, T., Dürr, V., and Schmitz, J. (2017). A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284:20171755.
Dallmann, C., et al., 2017. A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1868): 20171755.
C. Dallmann, et al., “A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects”, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 284, 2017, : 20171755.
Dallmann, C., Hoinville, T., Dürr, V., Schmitz, J.: A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284, : 20171755 (2017).
Dallmann, Chris, Hoinville, Thierry, Dürr, Volker, and Schmitz, Josef. “A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284.1868 (2017): 20171755.
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