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In stick insects, walking is the result of the co-action of different pattern generators for the single legs and coordinating inter-leg influences. We have used a slippery surface setup to understand the role the local neuronal processing in the thoracic ganglia plays in the ability of the animal to show turning movements. To achieve this, we removed the(More)
In insects, histamine is found both in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and in the CNS and is known to function as a fast neurotransmitter in photoreceptors that have been shown to express selectively the hdc gene. This gene codes for histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the enzyme for histamine synthesis. Fast neurotransmission requires the efficient removal(More)
The coordination of the movement of single and multiple limbs is essential for the generation of locomotion. Movement about single joints and the resulting stepping patterns are usually generated by the activity of antagonistic muscle pairs. In the stick insect, the three major muscle pairs of a leg are the protractor and retractor coxae, the levator and(More)
A chronically implantable electrode design permitting alternate extracellular nerve recording and axon stimulation in freely behaving crayfish was developed. The electrode consists of a double hook made from 20 microm thin platinum wire that can be fitted to various nerve diameters, and is easily implantable. A fast curing, flexible two-component silicone(More)
A modified and improved setup based on Epstein and Graham [Epstein S, Graham D. Behaviour and motor output of stick insects walking on a slippery surface. I. Forward walking. J Exp Biol 1983;105: 215-29] to study straight and curve walking in the stick insect was developed and applications for its use are described. The animal is fixed on a balsa stick and(More)
Understanding how animals control locomotion in different behaviors requires understanding both the kinematics of leg movements and the neural activity underlying these movements. Stick insect leg kinematics differ in forward and backward walking. Describing leg muscle activity in these behaviors is a first step toward understanding the neuronal basis for(More)
Studying the neural basis of walking behavior, one often faces the problem that it is hard to separate the neuronally produced stepping output from those leg movements that result from passive forces and interactions with other legs through the common contact with the substrate. If we want to understand, which part of a given movement is produced by nervous(More)
Stick insect (Carausius morosus) leg muscles contract and relax slowly. Control of stick insect leg posture and movement could therefore differ from that in animals with faster muscles. Consistent with this possibility, stick insect legs maintained constant posture without leg motor nerve activity when the animals were rotated in air. That unloaded leg(More)
Legged locomotion requires that information local to one leg, and inter-segmental signals coming from the other legs are processed appropriately to establish a coordinated walking pattern.However, very little is known about the relative importance of local and inter-segmental signals when they converge upon the central pattern generators (CPGs) of different(More)
In its natural habitat, Carausius morosus climbs on the branches of bushes and trees. Previous work suggested that stick insects perform targeting movements with their hindlegs to find support more easily. It has been assumed that the animals use position information from the anterior legs to control the touchdown position of the ipsilateral posterior legs.(More)