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

Dominique Martinez 1 Antoine Chaffiol 2 Nicole Voges 1 Yuqiao Gu 2 Sylvia Anton 2 Jean-Pierre Rospars 2 Philippe 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.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 9:47:18 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:38:10 PM

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Dominique Martinez, Antoine Chaffiol, Nicole Voges, Yuqiao 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), ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0061220⟩. ⟨hal-00858730⟩



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