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Title: Deciphering the Role of a Coleopteran Steering Muscle via Free Flight Stimulation
Authors: Sato, Hirotaka
Vo Doan, Tat Thang
Kolev, Svetoslav
Huynh, Ngoc Anh
Zhang, Chao
Massey, Travis L.
van Kleef, Joshua
Ikeda, Kazuo
Abbeel, Pieter
Maharbiz, Michel M.
Keywords: biomechanics
Electric Stimulation
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Sato, H., Vo Doan, T. T., Kolev, S., Huynh, N. A., Zhang, C., Massey, T. L., et al. (2015). Deciphering the Role of a Coleopteran Steering Muscle via Free Flight Stimulation. Current Biology, 25(6), 798-803.
Series/Report no.: Current Biology
Abstract: Testing hypotheses of neuromuscular function during locomotion ideally requires the ability to record cellular responses and to stimulate the cells being investigated to observe downstream behaviors [ 1 ]. The inability to stimulate in free flight has been a long-standing hurdle for insect flight studies. The miniaturization of computation and communication technologies has delivered ultra-small, radio-enabled neuromuscular recorders and stimulators for untethered insects [ 2–8 ]. Published stimulation targets include the areas in brain potentially responsible for pattern generation in locomotion [ 5 ], the nerve chord for abdominal flexion [ 9 ], antennal muscles [ 2, 10 ], and the flight muscles (or their excitatory junctions) [ 7, 11–13 ]. However, neither fine nor graded control of turning has been demonstrated in free flight, and responses to the stimulation vary widely [ 2, 5, 7, 9 ]. Technological limitations have precluded hypotheses of function validation requiring exogenous stimulation during flight. We investigated the role of a muscle involved in wing articulation during flight in a coleopteran. We set out to identify muscles whose stimulation produced a graded turning in free flight, a feat that would enable fine steering control not previously demonstrated. We anticipated that gradation might arise either as a function of the phase of muscle firing relative to the wing stroke (as in the classic fly b1 muscle [ 14, 15 ] or the dorsal longitudinal and ventral muscles of moth [ 16 ]), or due to regulated tonic control, in which phase-independent summation of twitch responses produces varying amounts of force delivered to the wing linkages [ 15, 17, 18 ].
ISSN: 0960-9822
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.01.051
Schools: School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Rights: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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