A simulation model of the locmotion controllers for the nematode textitCaenorabditis elegans


This paper presents a simple yet biologically-grounded model of the C. elegans neural circuit for forward locomotive control. The model con-siders a limited subset of the C. elegans nervous system, within a minimal two-dimensional envi-ronment. Despite its reductionist approach, this model is sufficiently rich to generate patterns of undulations that are reminiscent of the biologi-cal worm’s behaviour and qualitatively similar to patterns which have been shown to generate lo-comotion in a model of a richer physical environ-ment. Interestingly, and contrary to conventional wisdom about neural circuits for motor control, our results are consistent with the conjecture that the worm may be relying on feedback from the shape of its body to generate undulations that propel it forward or backward.

From Animals to Animats 8: Proceedings of the Seventh [ie Eighth] International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior