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Electrolytic lesions within central complex neuropils of the cockroach brain affect negotiation of barriers

Harley, C. M. and Ritzmann, R. E. (2010) Electrolytic lesions within central complex neuropils of the cockroach brain affect negotiation of barriers. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213 (16). pp. 2851-2864. ISSN 0022-0949.

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Animals must negotiate obstacles in their path in order to successfully function within natural environments. These actions require transitions from walking to other behaviors, many of which are more involved than simple reflexes. For these behaviors to be successful, insects must evaluate objects in their path and then use that information to change posture or re-direct leg movements. Some of this control may occur within a region of the brain known as the central complex (CC). We used discrete electrolytic lesions to examine the role of certain sub-regions of the CC in various obstacle negotiation behaviors. We found that cockroaches with lesions to the protocerebral bridge (PB) and ellipsoid body (EB) exhibit abnormalities in turning and dealing with shelf-like objects; whereas, individuals with lesions to the fan-shaped body (FB) and lateral accessory lobe (LAL), exhibit abnormalities of those behaviors as well as climbing over blocks and up walls to a horizontal plane. Abnormalities in block climbing include decreased success rate, changes in climbing strategy, and delayed response to the block. Increases in these abnormal behaviors were significant in individuals with lesions to the FB and LAL. Although turning abnormalities are present in individuals with lesions to the LAL, EB and the lateral region of the FB, there are some differences in how these deficits present. For instance, the turning deficits seen in individuals with lateral FB lesions only occurred when turning in the direction opposite to the side of the brain on which the lesion occurred. By contrast, individuals with lesions to the EB and LAL exhibited turning abnormalities in both directions. Lesions in the medial region of the FB did not result in directional turning deficits, but in abnormalities in block climbing.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Accepted 28 April 2010. We would like to thank Yidi Xu, whose undergraduate project at CWRU provided inspiration for this project. Additionally we would like to thank Angela Ridgel and Alan Pollack for valuable technical assistance, Mark Willis, Debra Wood, Hillel Chiel, Roger Quinn, Michael Branicky for their comments on the original manuscript, as well as Solomon Awe and Brittany English who assisted with data acquisition and analysis. The work reported here is part of a study supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. IOS-0845417 and the AFOSR under grant FA9550-07-1-0149 both to R.E.R., and NSF IGERT training grant DGE 9972747 that provided graduate support to C.M.H. We thank the Company of Biologists for a travel grant to C.M.H. to present this work at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-07-1-0149
NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)DGE 9972747
Subject Keywords:behavior; brain; central complex; cockroach; obstacle negotiation
Issue or Number:16
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100817-132810669
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19473
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Aug 2010 20:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:57

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