Modelling active antennal movements of the American cockroach: towards biorobotic models of active sensing

Alejandro Pequeno-Zurro, Jahn Nitschke, Paul Szyszka, Danish Shaikh, Einat Couzin-Fuchs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Cockroach antennae are multimodal sensory appendages engaging in active olfactory and tactile sensing. They are involved in unisensory behaviours such as chemotaxis, thigmotaxis, obstacle negotiation and tactile orientation. Studies of multisensory capabilities mediated by the antennae are however lacking. Here we report on an integrated experimental and computational approach to investigate how sensory information affects antennal movements. We present a modelling approach to characterise the relationship between antennal searching movement of the American cockroach Periplaneta americana and the spatial properties of encountered odorant concentrations. Video recordings reveal that the animal’s antennae exhibit systematic movements in the presence of behaviourally relevant odorants. We hypothesise a dynamic coupling between the left and right antenna modulated by odour stimulation. To test this we designed experiments in which cockroaches were exposed to odorants arriving with different temporal patterns. We measured the spatial structure of the odorant plume encountered by the antennae at any given time and generated a spatial odorant concentration map. We then employed an adaptive frequency, coupled Hopf oscillator to model antennal movements in response to odorant concentration, using this map for sensory drive signals for the model. We present simulation results of antennal movements in response to odorant concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics
Number of pages4
PublisherSWARM
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2nd International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics - Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 29. Oct 20171. Nov 2017
http://www.ohk.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/SWARM2017/
http://www.ohk.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/SWARM2017/

Conference

Conference2nd International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics
LocationKyoto University
CountryJapan
CityKyoto
Period29/10/201701/11/2017
Internet address

Keywords

  • insect olfaction
  • active perception
  • cockroach antennae
  • Hopf oscillator

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