Multiphasic On/Off pheromone signaling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy.

Dominique Martinez 1 Antoine Chaffiol 2 Nicole Voges 1 Y. Gu 2 Sylvia Anton 2 Jean-Pierre Rospars 2 P. Lucas 2
1 CORTEX - Neuromimetic intelligence
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - AIS - Department of Complex Systems, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
Abstract : 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.
Type de document :
Article dans une revue
PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (4)
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Contributeur : Dominique Martinez <>
Soumis le : jeudi 5 septembre 2013 - 21:47:18
Dernière modification le : mardi 18 décembre 2018 - 16:40:21


  • HAL Id : hal-00858730, version 1


Dominique Martinez, Antoine Chaffiol, Nicole Voges, Y. Gu, Sylvia Anton, et al.. Multiphasic On/Off pheromone signaling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (4). 〈hal-00858730〉



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