Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 199, Issue 11, pp 1037–1052 | Cite as

Insect–machine hybrid system for understanding and evaluating sensory-motor control by sex pheromone in Bombyx mori

  • Ryohei Kanzaki
  • Ryo Minegishi
  • Shigehiro Namiki
  • Noriyasu Ando


To elucidate the dynamic information processing in a brain underlying adaptive behavior, it is necessary to understand the behavior and corresponding neural activities. This requires animals which have clear relationships between behavior and corresponding neural activities. Insects are precisely such animals and one of the adaptive behaviors of insects is high-accuracy odor source orientation. The most direct way to know the relationships between neural activity and behavior is by recording neural activities in a brain from freely behaving insects. There is also a method to give stimuli mimicking the natural environment to tethered insects allowing insects to walk or fly at the same position. In addition to these methods an ‘insect–machine hybrid system’ is proposed, which is another experimental system meeting the conditions necessary for approaching the dynamic processing in the brain of insects for generating adaptive behavior. This insect–machine hybrid system is an experimental system which has a mobile robot as its body. The robot is controlled by the insect through its behavior or the neural activities recorded from the brain. As we can arbitrarily control the motor output of the robot, we can intervene at the relationship between the insect and the environmental conditions.


Brain Adaptive behavior Moths Pheromones Orientation 



Antennal lobe


Brief excitation


Brain–machine hybrid system


Cervical nerve


Flip-flop activity


Delta area of inferior lateral protocerebrum


Lateral accessory lobe


Lateral protocerebrum


Macroglomerular complex


Neck motor neuron


Ordinary glomerulus


Olfactory receptor neuron




Projection neuron


Superior medial protocerebrum


Ventral protocerebrum


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryohei Kanzaki
    • 1
  • Ryo Minegishi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shigehiro Namiki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Noriyasu Ando
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Advanced Science and TechnologyThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Control EngineeringTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  3. 3.HHMI Janelia Farm Research CampusAshburnUSA

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