Control of cercal position during flight in the cockroach: a mechanism for regulating sensory feedback. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rhythmic behaviours such as locomotion are known to be produced in part by pattern generators within the central nervous system (Delcomyn, 1980; Selverston & Moulins, 1985). As a result of an animal's locomotion, it receives considerable sensory feedback, much of which is also used to help control the movements (Burrows, 1976; Libersat, Clarac & Zill, 1987; Pearson & Wolf, 1987). However, some of this feedback is not useful and could even perturb the behaviour if not filtered out (Kennedy, Calabrese & Wine, 1974). When a cockroach flies, its forward progression plus the beating of its wings produce strong wind stimuli to the cerci, paired wind-sensitive appendages located posteriorly on the abdomen. Each cercus bears about 220 filiform hairs that detect air displacement (Nicklaus, 1965). They are stimulated by minute air currents, such as those produced by the approach of a …

publication date

  • May 1, 1988