Published on Thu Sep 16 2021

Analysis of Multisensory-Motor Integration in Olfactory Navigation of Silkmoth, Bombyx mori, using Virtual Reality System

Yamada, M., Ohashi, H., Hosoda, K., Kurabayashi, D., Shigaki, S.

Most animals survive and thrive due to navigation behavior to reach their destinations. It is important for animals to integrate information obtained from multisensory inputs and use that information to modulate their behavior. In this study, we investigated how an adult silkmoth integrates visual and wind direction information.

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Abstract

Most animals survive and thrive due to navigation behavior to reach their destinations. In order to navigate, it is important for animals to integrate information obtained from multisensory inputs and use that information to modulate their behavior. In this study, by using a virtual reality (VR) system for an insect, we investigated how an adult silkmoth integrates visual and wind direction information during female search behavior (olfactory behavior). According to the behavioral experiments using the VR system, the silkmoth had the highest navigation success rate when odor, vision, and wind information were correctly provided. However, we found that the success rate of the search signifcantly reduced if wind direction information was provided that was incorrect from the direction actually detected. This indicates that it is important to acquire not only odor information, but also wind direction information correctly. In other words, Behavior was modulated by the degree of co-incidence between the direction of arrival of the odor and the direction of arrival of the wind, and posture control (angular velocity control) was modulated by visual information. We mathematically modeled the modulation of behavior using multisensory information and evaluated it by simulation. As a result, the mathematical model not only succeeded in reproducing the actual female search behavior of the silkmoth, but can also improve search success relative to the conventional odor source search algorithm.