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Limb coordination in crayfish swimming: understanding the role of long range connections


Professor Lucy Spardy
Skidmore College

April 11, 2016
5:00 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served in Bailey Hall 204 4:45pm


During forward swimming, pairs of crayfish swimmerets (limbs) exhibit a robust pattern, moving rhythmically in a back to front metachronal wave with neighbors delayed by approximately 25% of the period. We study the mechanism responsible for this coordinated limb behavior using a model which represents the underlying neural circuitry as a chain of coupled oscillators. Previous modeling efforts have only considered the effects of nearest neighbor coupling, ignoring the presence of longer range connections in the system. In this talk, I'll address how long-range coupling affects this mechanism, using an oscillator chain whose architecture reflects the known neural circuitry in the swimmeret system. I'll present analytical arguments and numerical simulations that indicate that long-range coupling tends to speed up the metachronal wave. Combined with insights from a computational fluid dynamics model, we suggest that this may maximize swimming efficiency.

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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