In order to understand how neuronal circuits control locomotory patterns it is necessary to record neuronal activity of freely behaving animals. Here, using a new automated system for simultaneous recording of behavior and neuronal activity in freely moving Caenorhabditis elegans on standard agar plates, we show that spontaneous reversals from forward to backward locomotion reflect precisely the activity of the AVA command interneurons. We also witness spontaneous activity transients in the PLM sensory neurons during free behavior of the worm in standard conditions. We show that these activity transients are coupled to short spontaneous forward accelerations of the worm.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank N. Chronis for assistance with the microfluidic chambers and K. Miller for the lite-1(ce314) strain. Y.T. is funded by the European Commission's Marie Curie Actions. I.R. is funded by an Israel Science Foundation Bikura postdoctoral fellowship.
- C. elegans
- Calcium imaging
- Mechanosensory neurons
- Tracking system