Sterling Frazier

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Forces exerted by a leg in support and propulsion can vary considerably when animals stand upon or traverse irregular terrains. We characterized the responses of the cockroach tibial campaniform sensilla, mechanoreceptors which encode force via strains produced in the exoskeleton, by applying forces to the leg at controlled magnitudes and rates. We also(More)
Anatomical, kinematic and ablation studies were performed to evaluate the contribution of elasticity in use of the cockroach tarsus (foot) in walking. The distal tarsus (claws and arolium) engages the substrate during the stance phase of walking by the action of a single muscle, the retractor unguis. Kinematic and ablation studies demonstrated that tarsal(More)
The ability to detect changes in load is important for effective use of a leg in posture and locomotion. While a number of limb receptors have been shown to encode increases in load, few afferents have been demonstrated to signal leg unloading, which occurs cyclically during walking and is indicative of slipping or perturbations. We applied mechanical(More)
A major problem in sensory motor integration is to delineate how forces acting upon a leg are encoded and regulated in the control of posture and locomotion. We have studied responses of the trochanteral campaniform sensilla, the largest array of force detecting mechanoreceptors in the cockroach leg. Afferents from two groups of sensilla (Groups 3 and 4)(More)
Sense organs in the legs that detect body weight are an important component in the regulation of posture and locomotion. We tested the abilities of tibial campaniform sensilla, receptors that can monitor forces in the cockroach leg, to encode variations in body load in freely standing animals. Small magnets were attached to the thorax and currents were(More)
We have examined the tarsus (foot) and tibial segments of the cockroach leg to identify structures that contain the elastic protein resilin. The presence of resilin was tested using the conventional criteria of fluorescent emission at 420 nm under UV illumination and histological staining of wholemount tissues by toluidine blue. We have also developed a(More)
Previous studies in insects demonstrated that leg coordination changes following complete ablation of distal limb segments. However, normal coordination was restored when small ‘peg leg’ prostheses were attached to leg stumps to permit substrate contact. We have adapted this paradigm to preserve appropriate leg mass and inertia by severing all nerves and(More)
Many types of sense organs have been demonstrated to show repetitive discharges during walking that could provide informational cues about leg movements and other parameters of locomotion. We have recorded activities of receptors of the distal (tarsal) segments of the cockroach hindleg in restrained and freely moving animals while they were videotaped.(More)
To examine how walking patterns are adapted to changes in load, we recorded leg movements and muscle activities when cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) walked upright and on an inverted surface. Animals were videotaped to measure the hindleg femoro-tibial joint angle while myograms were taken from the tibial extensor and flexor muscles. The joint is(More)
The exoskeleton of the cockroach leg was imaged via confocal microscopy to generate digital graphic reconstructions of its three-dimensional structure. The cuticle is autofluorescent and can be visualized without staining, but is maximally imaged in aldehyde-fixed preparations viewed under krypton-argon laser illumination (yellow green (568 nm) excitation,(More)