Data from: Output variability across animals and levels in a motor system
Wenning, Angela et al. (2018), Data from: Output variability across animals and levels in a motor system, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c0g0p
Rhythmic behaviors vary across individuals. We investigated the sources of this output variability across a motor system, from the central pattern generator (CPG) to the motor plant. In the bilaterally symmetric leech heartbeat system, the CPG orchestrates two coordinations in the bilateral hearts with different intersegmental phase relations (Δφ) and periodic side-to-side switches. Population variability is large. We show that the system is precise within a coordination, that differences in repetitions of a coordination contribute little to population output variability, but that differences between bilaterally homologous cells may contribute to some of this variability. Nevertheless, much output variability is likely associated with genetic and life history differences among individuals. Variability of Δφ were coordination-specific: similar at all levels in one, but significantly lower for the motor pattern than the CPG pattern in the other. Mechanisms that transform CPG output to motor neurons may limit output variability in the motor pattern.