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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

For solving complex tasks was enough for the two neurons

A group of scientists representing the University of Sussex, found that for complex decisions a living being in some cases only two connected neurons. In any case, the study showed that this is the case when freshwater snails looking for food.

photo: Mikhail Kovalev

Watching the brain of snails with electrodes, scientists have discovered that one of the brain cells of the cochlea allows us to determine whether nearby food (during the experiment were lettuce,) and the other provides an opportunity to assess the degree of saturation of the cochlea. The first neuron of the snail supplied information, while the second predetermined degree of motivation. Together they regulate the process of making a snail decisions regarding eating, regulate, thus, many aspects of its behavior.

The cochlea of this concise system that apparently allows to save a significant amount of energy that would be spent, whether the system of decision-making more complex at the same time not expending effort on a search for food without having or in a situation when it are not near.

How to tell the researchers, the decision-making process scientists still studied not in all aspects. While it is generally assumed that it involves a very large number of neurons in the human brain them, it is estimated that around $ 86 billion. However, as new data allow for more accurate representation on decision-making and, in the slightly longer term, to help in the optimization of “thinking” robots, artificial intelligence, which may well be inspired by it is the brain of snails.

Scientific paper written on the results of their research, the scientists presented in the journal Nature Communications.

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