A Model of Leg Coordination in the Stick Insect, Carausius morosus – I. a Geometrical Consideration of Contralateral and Ipsilateral Coordination Mechanisms Between Two Adjacent Legs
Mechanisms dependent upon leg position coordinate the alternate stepping of adjacent ipsilateral and contralateral legs in the stick insect. In this insect, swing duration and step amplitude are independent of walking speed. A simple geometrical model of the leg controller is used here to test different mechanisms for compatibility with these two invariant features. Leg position is the state variable of a relaxation oscillator and position thresholds determine the transitions between swing and stance. The coordination mechanisms alter these thresholds. The position-dependent mechanisms considered differ either in the form or the speed-dependence of the function relating the shift in the posterior threshold of the receiving leg to the position of the sending leg. The results identify parameter combinations leading to alternate stepping with symmetric or asymmetric phase distributions, to shifts in the posterior extreme position as a function of speed, to double stepping or to in-phase stepping. An optimal position-dependent excitatory mechanism is described. Finally the consequences of adding either inhibitory influences or time-dependent excitatory influences are analyzed. © 1991 Springer-Verlag.
Dean, J., "A Model of Leg Coordination in the Stick Insect, Carausius morosus – I. a Geometrical Consideration of Contralateral and Ipsilateral Coordination Mechanisms Between Two Adjacent Legs" (1991). Biological, Geological, and Environmental Faculty Publications. 108.