Nervous Control of Walking in the Cockroach

  • K. G. Pearson
  • C. R. Fourtner
  • R. K. Wong
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 7)


Over the past few years there have been significant advances in our knowledge of the nervous events underlying the leg movements of walking insects. These include (1) the precise description of the discharge patterns of identified motoneurones and the correlation of electrophysiological and behavioural data, (2) the demonstration of central rhythm generators for producing the basic rhythmicity of leg movements, (3) the recording of intracellular events in motoneurones and interneurones during rhythmic leg movements, and (4) the effects on motor output of changes in feedback from leg receptors. The most intensively studied animal has been the cockroach. For this animal it is clear that central mechanisms determine the basic rhythmicity and reciprocity in the activity supplying the muscles producing the alternate flexion and extension movement of the femur. Preliminary studies indicate that non-spiking interneurones are involved in the central patterning of motor output.


Motor Output Flexion Movement Nervous Control Campaniform Sensilla Tripod Gait 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. G. Pearson
    • 1
  • C. R. Fourtner
    • 1
  • R. K. Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Alberta EdmontonCanada

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