Man is the smartest vertebrate, so what is the smartest invertebrate?

2020-01-10 | Zhong Ming talks about science original |

Human beings are the smartest vertebrates in the world, so what are the smartest invertebrates? The answer is: xiāo, an octopus.

True, according to the taxonomy, it belongs to the mollusc phylum, cephalopod, phyla, octacarina, octopidae-octopus subfamily, octopus, true species, because of its delicious meat, it often becomes a gourmet on the table.

In the ocean, Shinji is extremely intelligent in survival. Scientists have observed that they not only use tools, but also have long-term and short-term memory, they also have the ability to learn, and even have emotions and personality. We know that these are the human needsIt is formed in the brain, and how exactly does Shinji do it?

Brain and neurons

Human learning ability, memory ability and even emotion are related to the brain, but these abilities are not controlled by a certain brain area, but by neurons.

Neurons are our brain cells. These cells are different from somatic cells in that they have many synapses, like branches, so they are also called "dendritics". The dendritic structures are like branches.Known as axons, axons and dendrites rely on chemical signals to transmit information.

The study found that the generation of memory is related to these neurons. When two neurons that are not related to each other are connected, a new memory may be formed.

The same is true for learning abilities. Scientists once implanted a tiny wire in the monkey's brain, and the other end was connected to a display. Research has found that when a monkey picks up a banana by itself, the brain releases a signal; and whenWhen a scientist picks up a banana, the monkey's brain also releases a signal. The two signals are the same. That is to say, whether a person picks up a banana or a monkey picks up a banana, the monkey neurons respond the same.This means that monkeys can learn a new skill through observation.

It can be seen from the above that many human capabilities are related to brain neurons. The more complicated the brain neurons, the more complicated human activities are.

So the question is coming, Shinji's head is so small, how does it learn and store memories?

True neuron

Scientists have found that most neurons of Shinji are distributed on the wrists and feet of the body, that is, its octapods are equivalent to a part of the brain, and each wrist and foot can independently sense the natural environment and do not need themThe signal is transmitted to the brain and then to the body.

Further, these neurons, like the human brain, also have dendrites and axons, that is, they can acquire new memories and store new memories by releasing signals from brain cells, just like humans.

Why are they not as smart as humans? In fact, they are not enough neurons to perform more and more complex functions. Of course, even if they have the same number of neurons as humans, they may not evolve.Higher wisdom and civilization, because the evolution of living things has no direction.

In addition to memory and learning ability, Shinji can also edit his own genes, and we humans have not mastered gene editing technology until now.

We know that most organisms use DNA as genetic material, but the DNA that controls biological traits in the human body requires RNA transcription once during specific operations and then specifically guides protein synthesis. That is, RNA acts as a messenger.In general, the DNA fragment corresponds to the RNA fragment, so replication will not be wrong.

But Shinji can change its own RNA during RNA transcription, that is, the messenger RNA can change the content of the letter itself, thereby changing its own protein. Scientists have found that more than 60% of RNA transcripts in Shinji's brainIt is transcribed by recoding, compared with less than 1% in humans.

Shinji learns new skills through gene editing, but the price is that the species' evolution rate has slowed down. This is because Shinji has not changed his own DNA, although he has changed his RNA, so he does not change his population when he inherits.gene.

Shinji breeds about once in his life. When the larvae are born, most of the male and female Shinjis are dead. Therefore, juvenile Shinjis cannot learn the survival knowledge by learning the behaviors of their parents. They can only learn the survival skills themselves, that is,Their wisdom cannot be passed on.

Human wisdom is inherited. We can learn about life from teachers and parents. This is the reason why human civilization is more advanced.

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