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alternation behaviour

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alternation behaviour

Postby femke » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:12 pm

Dear biologists,

I'm in my last year of high school (in Belgium). I have to make a paper about the behaviour of woudlice.
My provisional examination question is " What is the effect of distance on the alternation behavior of woodlice?" I'm not sure wheater 'alternation behaviour' is the right term in this case.

This is the experiment I'm going to do, briefly said: The woodlice arre forced to make a right hand turn and then after a variable distance are given a choice of taking a left or right turn (a T). And vice versa.
Image

I have found a lot about SAB(spontaneous alternation behavior), but I think that that's not the right term for my investigation because they can not choose in the beginning.

Can somebody tell me wich is the right term that I have to use in my examination question?

thanks a lot,
Femke

PS: I have one more question. How do I have to take care for the woodlice not following the scent of the other woodlice in the labyrinth?
femke
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Postby Marcelo » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:04 am

I can only speak of turn alternation for sow bugs, which show the same behavior. It used to be called "correcting behavior" but that was too teleological.... so the behavior was changed. For sow bugs, a forced turn does not equal the angle of the "free" turn, but there is some opposite turning. It is thought that the behavior allows the animal to move in a general direction upon finding an obstruction, rather than move randomly within the same area.

In sow bugs, it can be shown that the behavior is due to the compensation for the movement of legs.... that is, the same behavior can be shown by having a sow bug move down a corridor with half of it being a miniature escalator. When a sow bug is forced to turn, say to the right, the legs on the outer (left) side of the body move faster than the inner legs, and when given a "free" choice, the leg motion balances so that the inner legs move faster than the outer, in my example.

For maggots, they also tend to be photonegative, moving away from light, which also would provide a directional behavior for them.
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Postby aptitude » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Yes, the movement of sowbugs is referred to as "kinesis". It differs from what are called "tropisms" in that kinesis is not directional.
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Postby Papreca » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:52 pm

Try interchanging behavior of a woodlice.
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