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Applied Mathematics Colloquium: Dr. Kathleen Hoffman


Friday, March 3, 2017
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Mathematics/Psychology : 104

Title: Understanding Lamprey Locomotion using an Interdisciplinary Approach


Lamprey swimming involves a complex feedback loop.  An electrical signal is transmitted down the spinal cord and inervates the muscle, which in turn, bends the body into and S-shaped wave that propels the animal through the water. The body interacts with the fluid, and the fluid interacts with the body. In addition, sensory receptors, called edge cells, located on the margin of the spinal cord, respond to both stretch and rate of stretch, and feedback electrical signals to the spinal cord. The interaction of these subsystems generate swimming behavior in the lamprey.

In this talk I will present a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding vertebrate locomotion. Techniques include mathematical models, biological experiment, computational fluid dynamic simulations, experimental fluid dynamics and robotics.