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Multiphasic on/off pheromone signalling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy

Insects and robots searching for odour sources in turbulent plumes face the same problem: the random nature of mixing causes fluctuations and intermittency in perception. Pheromone-tracking male moths appear to deal with discontinuous flows of information by surging upwind, upon sensing a pheromone... Full description

Journal Title: PloS one 2013, Vol.8(4), pp.e61220
Main Author: Martinez, Dominique
Other Authors: Chaffiol, Antoine , Voges, Nicole , Gu, Yuqiao , Anton, Sylvia , Rospars, Jean-Pierre , Lucas, Philippe
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: E-ISSN: 1932-6203 ; PMID: 23613816 Version:1 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061220
Link: http://pubmed.gov/23613816
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recordid: medline23613816
title: Multiphasic on/off pheromone signalling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy
format: Article
creator:
  • Martinez, Dominique
  • Chaffiol, Antoine
  • Voges, Nicole
  • Gu, Yuqiao
  • Anton, Sylvia
  • Rospars, Jean-Pierre
  • Lucas, Philippe
subjects:
  • Appetitive Behavior -- Drug Effects
  • Moths -- Drug Effects
  • Neurons -- Drug Effects
  • Pheromones -- Pharmacology
ispartof: PloS one, 2013, Vol.8(4), pp.e61220
description: Insects and robots searching for odour sources in turbulent plumes face the same problem: the random nature of mixing causes fluctuations and intermittency in perception. Pheromone-tracking male moths appear to deal with discontinuous flows of information by surging upwind, upon sensing a pheromone patch, and casting crosswind, upon losing the plume. Using a combination of neurophysiological recordings, computational modelling and experiments with a cyborg, we propose a neuronal mechanism that promotes a behavioural switch between surge and casting. We show how multiphasic On/Off pheromone-sensitive neurons may guide action selection based on signalling presence or loss of the pheromone. A Hodgkin-Huxley-type neuron model with a small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channel reproduces physiological On/Off responses. Using this model as a command neuron and the antennae of tethered moths as pheromone sensors, we demonstrate the efficiency of multiphasic patterning in driving a robotic searcher toward the source. Taken together, our results suggest that multiphasic On/Off responses may mediate olfactory navigation and that SK channels may account for these responses.
language: eng
source:
identifier: E-ISSN: 1932-6203 ; PMID: 23613816 Version:1 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061220
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 19326203
  • 1932-6203
url: Link


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titleMultiphasic on/off pheromone signalling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy
creatorMartinez, Dominique ; Chaffiol, Antoine ; Voges, Nicole ; Gu, Yuqiao ; Anton, Sylvia ; Rospars, Jean-Pierre ; Lucas, Philippe
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subjectAppetitive Behavior -- Drug Effects ; Moths -- Drug Effects ; Neurons -- Drug Effects ; Pheromones -- Pharmacology
descriptionInsects and robots searching for odour sources in turbulent plumes face the same problem: the random nature of mixing causes fluctuations and intermittency in perception. Pheromone-tracking male moths appear to deal with discontinuous flows of information by surging upwind, upon sensing a pheromone patch, and casting crosswind, upon losing the plume. Using a combination of neurophysiological recordings, computational modelling and experiments with a cyborg, we propose a neuronal mechanism that promotes a behavioural switch between surge and casting. We show how multiphasic On/Off pheromone-sensitive neurons may guide action selection based on signalling presence or loss of the pheromone. A Hodgkin-Huxley-type neuron model with a small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channel reproduces physiological On/Off responses. Using this model as a command neuron and the antennae of tethered moths as pheromone sensors, we demonstrate the efficiency of multiphasic patterning in driving a robotic searcher toward the source. Taken together, our results suggest that multiphasic On/Off responses may mediate olfactory navigation and that SK channels may account for these responses.
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abstractInsects and robots searching for odour sources in turbulent plumes face the same problem: the random nature of mixing causes fluctuations and intermittency in perception. Pheromone-tracking male moths appear to deal with discontinuous flows of information by surging upwind, upon sensing a pheromone patch, and casting crosswind, upon losing the plume. Using a combination of neurophysiological recordings, computational modelling and experiments with a cyborg, we propose a neuronal mechanism that promotes a behavioural switch between surge and casting. We show how multiphasic On/Off pheromone-sensitive neurons may guide action selection based on signalling presence or loss of the pheromone. A Hodgkin-Huxley-type neuron model with a small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channel reproduces physiological On/Off responses. Using this model as a command neuron and the antennae of tethered moths as pheromone sensors, we demonstrate the efficiency of multiphasic patterning in driving a robotic searcher toward the source. Taken together, our results suggest that multiphasic On/Off responses may mediate olfactory navigation and that SK channels may account for these responses.
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