Abstract

Understanding how brains and environments give rise to behavior is a subject of great multidisciplinary interest. C. elegans is well-suited for this work because of its relatively rich behavioral repertoire and tractable connectome. The chemotaxis of C. elegans is comprised of two complimentary strategies - “weathervane” (klinotaxis) and “pirouette” (klinokinesis) - that operate in parallel with one another. The present work seeks to characterize each strategy and its contribution to the overall chemotaxis behavior. We find that the contribution of klinotaxis is the primary contributor of chemotaxis performance in most environments, but that klinokinesis is effective in environments with faint stimuli, have few gradient sources or are noisy, particularly when it is integrating sensed concentration over a longer time-scale.

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