SICB Annual Meeting 2018
January 3-7, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Symposium: Sensory Feedback and Animal Locomotion: Perspectives from Biology and Biorobotics

The locomotor appendages of animals, from insect wings to tetrapod limbs, perform dual roles as sensors and propulsors, and mechanosensory feedback has been shown to be critical to an animal’s motor performance. Through a diverse group of researchers, our symposium will exemplify the relevant sensory stimuli associated with animal movement in diverse modes of locomotion (aerial, aquatic, and terrestrial) in a diverse range of taxa (insects, fish, tetrapods, and robots). This symposium will focus on the different strategies for encoding sensory stimuli as well as highlight the intersection between biology, engineering, and robotics. As this symposium includes both biologists and engineers, we hope this gathering will catalyze new interdisciplinary collaborations and identify future research directions for the development of bioinspired sensory control systems that can be implemented in bioinspired robotics.

Sponsors: The organizers and speakers thank the sponsors of this symposium for their generous donations:

and the following divisions of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology: DCB, DVM, DNNSB, and DAB.


  • Brett Aiello, University of Chicago
  • Jessica Fox, Case Western Reserve University
  • Gary Gillis, Mount Holyoke College


S5-1 Friday, Jan. 5, 07:50 AIELLO, BR*; GILLIS, GB; FOX, JL: Sensory feedback and animal locomotion: perspectives from biology and biorobotics: An introduction to the symposium.

S5-2 Friday, Jan. 5, 08:00 FOX, JL: Cross-modal influence of mechanosensory input on visually guided behaviors in Drosophila

S5-3 Friday, Jan. 5, 08:30 SPONBERG, S: Robustness, sensitivity, and necessity in “template” sensing strategies of the hawkmoth

S5-4 Friday, Jan. 5, 09:00 QUINN, D.B.; KRESS, D; STEIN, A; WEGRZYNSKI, M; HAMZAH, L; LENTINK, D*: How Birds Negate Gusts and Maintain Heading by Crabbing into the Wind

S5-5 Friday, Jan. 5, 10:00 AIELLO, BR*; OLSEN, AM; MATHIS, CE; WESTNEAT, MW; HALE, ME: Fins, function, and physiology: the role of pectoral fin mechanosensation during swimming

S5-6 Friday, Jan. 5, 10:30 TYTELL, ED*; CARR, JA; DANOS, N; COWAN, NJ; ANKARALI, MM: Using noisy work loops to identify the phase-dependent stiffness and damping of muscle in lampreys

S5-7 Friday, Jan. 5, 11:00 AKANYETI, O*; LIAO, JC: The Interplay between Locomotion and Lateral Line Sensing in Swimming Fishes

S5-8 Friday, Jan. 5, 11:30 CARRYON, GC*; KAHN, JC; TANGORRA, JL: Sensory Mediated Control and Touch in Biorobotic Fins

S5-9 Friday, Jan. 5, 13:30 DALEY, MA*; GORDON, JC; BIEWENER, AA; SPRöWITZ, A: Understanding the agility of running birds: Sensorimotor and mechanical factors in avian bipedal locomotion.

S5-10 Friday, Jan. 5, 14:00 COX, SM*; GILLIS, GB: Preparing for Impact: Sensory Feedback and Controlled Landing in Hopping Toads

S5-11 Friday, Jan. 5, 14:30 WEBB, B*; LOVELESS, J; LAGOGIANNIS, K; WYSTRACH, A: Modelling sensory feedback and locomotor dynamics in Drosophila larvae

S5-12 Friday, Jan. 5, 15:00 HARTMANN, MJZ: Sensory Feedback from the Vibrissal System During Exploratory Behaviors of the Rat

Complementary Sessions: Session 5, Session 22, Session 34