, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp 85-94

A Central pattern generator to control a pyloric-based system

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A central pattern generator (CPG) is built to control a mechanical device (plant) inspired by the pyloric chamber of the lobster. Conductance-based models are used to construct the neurons of the CPG. The plant has an associated function that measures the amount of food flowing through it per unit of time. We search for the best set of solutions that give a high positive flow of food in the maximization function. The plant is symmetric and the model neurons are identical to avoid any bias in the space of solutions. We find that the solution is not unique and that three neurons are sufficient to produce positive flow. We propose an effective principle for CPGs (effective on-off connectivity) and a few predictions to be corroborated in the pyloric system of the lobster.

Received: 23 September 1998 / Accepted in revised form: 11 June 1999