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Optimal searching behaviour generated intrinsically by the central pattern generator for locomotion

Optimal searching behaviour generated intrinsically by the central pattern generator for locomotion
Optimal searching behaviour generated intrinsically by the central pattern generator for locomotion
Efficient searching for resources such as food by animals is key to their survival. It has been proposed that diverse animals from insects to sharks and humans adopt searching patterns that resemble a simple Lévy random walk, which is theoretically optimal for ‘blind foragers’ to locate sparse, patchy resources. To test if such patterns are generated intrinsically, or arise via environmental interactions, we tracked free-moving Drosophila larvae with (and without) blocked synaptic activity in the brain, suboesophageal ganglion (SOG) and sensory neurons. In brain-blocked larvae, we found that extended substrate exploration emerges as multi-scale movement paths similar to truncated Lévy walks. Strikingly, power-law exponents of brain/SOG/sensory-blocked larvae averaged 1.96, close to a theoretical optimum (µ ≅ 2.0) for locating sparse resources. Thus, efficient spatial exploration can emerge from autonomous patterns in neural activity. Our results provide the strongest evidence so far for the intrinsic generation of Lévy-like movement patterns.
2050-084X
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81
Humphries, Nicolas E.
9246d06a-396a-4c05-9721-dc340e75a4d0
Hu, Nan
a6f039f8-6255-4eec-a4af-0650f6d61df8
Medan, Violeta
e181474c-04fd-41f7-811e-a8c614c531ea
Berni, Jimena
17e6f048-ef09-4dc8-9381-3ba7d51e0f25
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81
Humphries, Nicolas E.
9246d06a-396a-4c05-9721-dc340e75a4d0
Hu, Nan
a6f039f8-6255-4eec-a4af-0650f6d61df8
Medan, Violeta
e181474c-04fd-41f7-811e-a8c614c531ea
Berni, Jimena
17e6f048-ef09-4dc8-9381-3ba7d51e0f25

Sims, David W., Humphries, Nicolas E., Hu, Nan, Medan, Violeta and Berni, Jimena (2019) Optimal searching behaviour generated intrinsically by the central pattern generator for locomotion. eLife, 8, [E50316]. (doi:10.7554/eLife.50316).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Efficient searching for resources such as food by animals is key to their survival. It has been proposed that diverse animals from insects to sharks and humans adopt searching patterns that resemble a simple Lévy random walk, which is theoretically optimal for ‘blind foragers’ to locate sparse, patchy resources. To test if such patterns are generated intrinsically, or arise via environmental interactions, we tracked free-moving Drosophila larvae with (and without) blocked synaptic activity in the brain, suboesophageal ganglion (SOG) and sensory neurons. In brain-blocked larvae, we found that extended substrate exploration emerges as multi-scale movement paths similar to truncated Lévy walks. Strikingly, power-law exponents of brain/SOG/sensory-blocked larvae averaged 1.96, close to a theoretical optimum (µ ≅ 2.0) for locating sparse resources. Thus, efficient spatial exploration can emerge from autonomous patterns in neural activity. Our results provide the strongest evidence so far for the intrinsic generation of Lévy-like movement patterns.

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Accepted/In Press date: 24 October 2019
Published date: 1 November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437908
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437908
ISSN: 2050-084X
PURE UUID: 638eaf86-7cb0-4e69-b287-0f64980e1e11

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2020 17:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 18:31

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Contributors

Author: David W. Sims
Author: Nicolas E. Humphries
Author: Nan Hu
Author: Violeta Medan
Author: Jimena Berni

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