Home > Papers from 2011 > Sensorimotor integration in insects

Sensorimotor integration in insects

This is a really nice short review about the flexible ways insects integrate sensory and motor information. Through some concisely told case-studies, Huston and Jayaraman demonstrate that, in insects, we can study sensorimotor integration all the way from individual neurons to behaviour. The main examples used are fly gaze stabilisation, cricket auditory system and circadian modulation of celestial compass systems. These stories are told very nicely, but the main focus of the authors with this paper is to highlight, in general, the value to be gotten from studying insects – where we have access to tools and experimental techniques at many complementary levels.

The abstract for the review reads: “Sensorimotor integration is a field rich in theory backed by a large body of psychophysical evidence. Relating the underlying neural circuitry to these theories has, however, been more challenging. With a wide array of complex behaviors coordinated by their small brains, insects provide powerful model systems to study key features of sensorimotor integration at a mechanistic level. Insect neural circuits perform both hard-wired and learned sensorimotor transformations. They modulate their neural processing based on both internal variables, such as the animal’s behavioral state, and external ones, such as the time of day. Here we present some studies using insect model systems that have produced insights, at the level of individual neurons, about sensorimotor integration and the various ways in which it can be modified by context.”

Stephen J Huston, Vivek Jayaraman (2011) Studying sensorimotor integration in insects. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. In Press. Corrected Proof now available online.

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Categories: Papers from 2011
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