Worms Discovered Can Make Complex Decisions

Every day, new information emerges about the brain, which has a fascinating working principle and still holds many secrets about how it works. Every new research on the brain by scientists brings us one step closer to understanding how the brain works.

The information obtained on how the brain works naturally reveals how much brain matter we need to perform certain functions. A new study on worms, published in Current Biology, offers new clues as to how many neurons, or border cells, we need to make complex decisions.

The number of neurons required to make complex decisions may only be 302

The number of neurons required to make distress decisions may only be 302. At least that may be the case, according to the results of a study focusing on Pristionchus pacificus, a predatory type of worm that relies on its ability to bite to eat its prey or defend its food source.

Researchers, who decided to examine the decision-making process through this worm type, decided how to use its biting abilities on the behavior of P. pacificus, especially when faced with different types of threats, instead of looking directly at neurons and cell contacts for decision-making signs. focused on her choice.

During the study, the team fought against another worm-type Caenorhabditis elegans, which is both the prey and competitor of P. pacificus, either biting to eat it or biting to deter. He observed that he used two different strategies. In contrast, P. pacificus, which prefers to bite to kill a larval C. elegans; when confronted with an adult C. elegans, it showed a tendency to bite to keep it away from food sources. This was little proof of a change of strategy and a conscious choice.

The research group observed where P. pacificus worms lay their eggs and how their behavior changed when a bacterial food source was nearby, so that bite attacks on adult C. elegans were not a failed attempt to kill, but rather that it was simply designed to drive them away. proved to be a strategy.

This research could play a valuable role in the development of artificial intelligence

While it has been known and customary for many years that such decisions have been made by vertebrates, worms are plausible in this way. It was not known that he had enough brain power to strategize and make complex decisions by considering the pros, cons and consequences of actions.

neuroscientist Kathleen Quach of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California noted that “Scientists have always assumed that worms were easy – when P. pacificus bites, we thought it was always a single predator target behind it.” “In fact, P. pacificus is multilateral and can use the same movement, namely the biting of C. elegans, to achieve different long-term goals. I was surprised to find that P. pacificus could turn what seemed like an unsuccessful hunt into successful and purposeful territoriality.” uses the terms.

When we consider that humans have as many as 86 billion neurons, the 302 neurons of P. pacificus may sound like an extremely small number. But from a biological point of view, this means that there is a not-so-complex code at the core of the decision-making system. As such, this research could have a valuable role even in the development of artificial intelligence, in teaching a computer software to make independent decisions with as few programs and borderline networks as possible. Sreekanth Chalasani, a neurobiologist from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, stated that

“Even easy systems like worms have different strategies, and by choosing in the middle of these strategies they can definitely decide what is best for them in a situation.” It serves as a framework for understanding how it is received in more complex systems, such as humans.”