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During flapping flight, insect wings must withstand not only fluid-dynamic forces, but also inertial-elastic forces generated by the rapid acceleration and deceleration of their own mass. Estimates of overall aerodynamic and inertial forces vary widely, and the relative importance of these forces in determining passive wing deformations remains unknown. If(More)
Both kinematics and morphology are critical determinants of performance in flapping flight. However, the functional consequences of changes in these traits are not yet well understood. Traditional aerodynamic studies of planform wing shape have suggested that high-aspect-ratio wings generate more force per area and perform more efficiently than(More)
The inverse problem of hovering flight, that is, the range of wing movements appropriate for sustained flight at a fixed position and orientation, was examined by developing a simulation of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Inverse problems arise when one is seeking the parameters that are required to achieve a specified model outcome. In contrast, forward(More)
Dipteran flight requires rapid acquisition of mechanosensory information provided by modified hindwings known as halteres. Halteres experience torques resulting from Coriolis forces that arise during body rotations. Although biomechanical and behavioral data indicate that halteres detect Coriolis forces, there are scant data regarding neural encoding of(More)
A growing body of evidence indicates that a majority of insects experience some degree of wing deformation during flight. With no musculature distal to the wing base, the instantaneous shape of an insect wing is dictated by the interaction of aerodynamic forces with the inertial and elastic forces that arise from periodic accelerations of the wing. Passive(More)
Insect antennae are sensory organs involved in a variety of behaviors, sensing many different stimulus modalities. As mechanosensors, they are crucial for flight control in the hawkmoth Manduca sexta. One of their roles is to mediate compensatory reflexes of the abdomen in response to rotations of the body in the pitch axis. Abdominal motions, in turn, are(More)
Neuromechanics seeks to understand how muscles, sense organs, motor pattern generators, and brain interact to produce coordinated movement, not only in complex terrain but also when confronted with unexpected perturbations. Applications of neuromechanics include ameliorating human health problems (including prosthesis design and restoration of movement(More)
Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory capabilities to achieve rapid course control during aerial maneuvers. Among two-winged insects such as houseflies and their relatives, the hind wings are modified into club-shaped, mechanosensory halteres, which detect Coriolis forces and thereby mediate flight stability during maneuvers. Here, we show that(More)
The halteres of dipteran insects are essential sensory organs for flight control. They are believed to detect Coriolis and other inertial forces associated with body rotation during flight. Flies use this information for rapid flight control. We show that the primary afferent neurons of the haltere's mechanoreceptors respond selectively with high temporal(More)
Moving animals orchestrate myriad motor systems in response to multimodal sensory inputs. Coordinating movement is particularly challenging in flight control, where animals deal with potential instability and multiple degrees of freedom of movement. Prior studies have focused on wings as the primary flight control structures, for which changes in angle of(More)