Unilaterally cercus-ablated crickets, Gryllus bimaculatus, were reared in an apparatus that induced walking artificially. In the crickets that experienced different distances of enforced walking per day, the directionality of escape was investigated before and 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16 days after the ablation of the cercus. The crickets that walked a longer distance per day showed a quicker and a higher degree of compensational recovery of the escape direction than the crickets that walked a shorter distance per day, even after walking the same distance. Thus, the time course and amount of compensational recovery from cercal ablation depend on when crickets experience walking during the recovery period. During the recovery period, unilaterally cercus-ablated crickets were subjected to walking at different times to determine the most effective period in which walking affects the compensational recovery of escape direction. The compensational recovery of the escape direction occurred only in crickets experiencing walking in early periods after the ablation. In particular, walking experienced 2–6 days after the ablation was most effective for the compensational recovery. On the other hand, no compensational recovery occurred in crickets experiencing walking in later periods after the ablation. These results suggest that there is a sensitive or critical period in which walking affects the compensational recovery of escape direction.
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