Chronic electromyographic analysis of circadian locomotor activity in crayfish

Yusuke Tomina, Akihiro Kibayashi, Taishi Yoshii, Masakazu Takahata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Animals generally exhibit circadian rhythms of locomotor activity. They initiate locomotor behavior not only reflexively in response to external stimuli but also spontaneously in the absence of any specific stimulus. The neuronal mechanisms underlying circadian locomotor activity can, therefore, be based on the rhythmic changes in either reflexive efficacy or endogenous activity. In crayfish Procambarus clarkii, it can be determined by analyzing electromyographic (EMG) patterns of walking legs whether the walking behavior is initiated reflexively or spontaneously. In this study, we examined quantitatively the leg muscle activity that underlies the locomotor behavior showing circadian rhythms in crayfish. We newly developed a chronic EMG recording system that allowed the animal to freely behave under a tethered condition for more than 10 days. In the LD condition in which the animals exhibited LD entrainment, the rhythmic burst activity of leg muscles for stepping behavior was preceded by non-rhythmic tonic activation that lasted for 1323. ±. 488. ms when the animal initiated walking. In DD and LL free-running conditions, the pre-burst activation lasted for 1779. ±. 31 and 1517. ±. 39. ms respectively. In the mechanical stimulus-evoked walking, the pre-burst activation ended within 79. ±. 6. ms. These data suggest that periodic changes in the crayfish locomotor activity under the condition of LD entrainment or free-running are based on activity changes in the spontaneous initiation mechanism of walking behavior rather than those in the sensori-motor pathway connecting mechanoreceptors with leg movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2013


  • Behavioral initiation
  • Crustacean
  • Invertebrate
  • Motor command
  • Reflexiveness
  • Spontaneity
  • Walking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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