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

Sims, DW, Humphries, NE, Hu, N, Medan, V and Berni, J 2019 Optimal searching behaviour generated intrinsically by the central pattern generator for locomotion. eLife, 8, e50316. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.50316

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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 Le´ vy 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 brainblocked larvae, we found that extended substrate exploration emerges as multi-scale movement paths similar to truncated Le´ vy walks. Strikingly, power-law exponents of brain/SOG/sensory blocked larvae averaged 1.96, close to a theoretical optimum (m ffi 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 Le´ vy-like movement patterns.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ocean Biology
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 23 Jul 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 16:54
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9273

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