Video_4_Decentralized Control Mechanism for Determination of Moving Direction in Brittle Stars With Penta-Radially Symmetric Body.MP4
A brittle star, an echinoderm with penta-radially symmetric body, can make decisions about its moving direction and move adapting to various circumstances despite lacking a central nervous system and instead possessing a rather simple distributed nervous system. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the essential control mechanism underlying the determination of moving direction in brittle stars. Based on behavioral findings on brittle stars whose nervous systems were lesioned in various ways, we propose a phenomenological mathematical model. We demonstrate via simulations that the proposed model can well reproduce the behavioral findings. Our findings not only provide insights into the mechanism for the determination of moving direction in brittle stars, but also help understand the essential mechanism underlying autonomous behaviors of animals. Moreover, they will pave the way for developing fully autonomous robots that can make decisions by themselves and move adaptively under various circumstances.