Compared to touch or vision, olfaction has long been seen as a passive sense. However, throughout the animal kingdom self-generated movement (e.g., sniffing, antenna movement, flight maneuvers) are used to bring new odorants to the olfactory organs. Using computer vision and electrophysiology we study the mechanisms by which insects sample their olfactory environment and make movement decisions.
Premotor processing by the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG)
We study the role of the insect SOG as a premotor center for (1) Descending transmission: translating sensory signals into motor command and (2) Ascending processing: transmitting and processing thoracic signals.
From walking to high-speed running: the neural basis of cockroach locomotion
What is the role of proprioception in inter-leg coordination during walking and running: How does proprioceptive feedback affect locomotion, and how does locomotion modulate these incoming sensory signals? Using high-speed video tracking, neurophysiology and simulations we test these questions at the highest end of cockroaches’ speed range, when the ability of proprioceptive sensing to respond to perturbations within a stride is challenged.