Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Multifractal evidence of nonlinear interactions stabilizing posture for phasmids in windy conditions: a reanalysis of insect postural-sway data

Citation

Kelty-Stephen, Damian G. (2019), Data from: Multifractal evidence of nonlinear interactions stabilizing posture for phasmids in windy conditions: a reanalysis of insect postural-sway data, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v52dp25

Abstract

The present work is a reanalysis of prior work documenting postural sway in phasmids (i.e., “stick insects”) [1]. The prior work pursued the possibility that postural sway was an evolutionary adaptation supporting motion camouflage to avoid the attention of predators. For instance, swaying along with leaves blown by the wind might reduce the likelihood of standing out to a predator. The present work addresses the alternative—but by no means conflicting and perhaps more explanatory—proposal that phasmid postural sway carries evidence of the tensegrity-like structures allowing postural stabilization under wind-like stimulation. Tensegrity structures are prestressed architectures embodying nonlinear interactions across scales of space and time that provide context-sensitive responses faster than neural tissue can support. Multifractal modeling of the postural-displacement series initially recorded in [1] offers a metric equally effective for quantifying complexity of phasmid postural sway under wind stimulation as for quantifying complexity of human postural sway [2-7]. Furthermore, multifractal modeling offers a means to demonstrate empirically the nonlinear interactions across space and time scales in body-wide coordination that tensegrity-based hypotheses predict. Specifically, multifractal modeling allows diagnosing the strength and direction of nonlinear interactions across time scale as the difference between multifractal estimates for the original postural-displacement series and for a sample of best-fitting linear models of the series. The reduction of postural sway directly following the application of wind stimulus appears as a significant decrease in the multifractal structure for original postural-displacement series as compared to best-fitting linear models of those series. This decrease indicates the capacity for nonlinear interactions across time scale to constrict variability, which is an aspect of nonlinear dynamics often overshadowed by the possibility that nonlinearity can produce more variability. This work offers the longer-range opportunity that multifractal modeling could provide a common language within which to coordinate behavioral sciences across a wide range of species.

Usage Notes