Jun 04, 2017 01:39 AM EDT
To test a theory of the evolution of neural circuits and behavior, Neuroscientists from the Georgia State University rewires the neural circuitry of a species and gives it access via brain connectivity of another species. Drs. Paul Katz and Akira Sakurai of Georgia's Neuroscience Institute on sea slugs did the study on neural behavior using sea slugs.
Nudibranch sea slugs were the specific species whose brains were rewired in the study having that simple circuitry and doing simple swimming behaviors. The sea slugs specific species were the Giant and the Hooded Nudibranch. Sakurai said that although the neurons and behavior patterns are similar, their brain circuitries are entirely different.
The neuroscientists began their procedure of species brain rewiring by blocking essential connectivity of the Giant Nudibranch. They paralyzed the giant nudibranch by using curare, a toxic substance used by South American Indians in their darts for blowguns. This incapacitates the species from doing its swimming activity. Electrodes were inserted to establish artificial connectivity wired to the connections based on the Hooded Nudibranch brain circuit.
The similar structure and relation of the two separate brains create similar behaviors since the species are homologous, says co-author of the study and Regent's Professor at the Neuroscience Institute of Georgia State, Dr. Paul Katz. The experiment manifested that the two brains of the subjects differ from each other despite the commonality of the circuits and its neurons, reports Science Newsline.
Dr. Sakurai and Dr. Katz's results of their study is published in the Journal Current Biology. Their collected data show that behaviors could be conserved but the shift in neural behaviors are significant through the course of time. Sakurai is the first scientist to focus on this study which is funded by the National Science Foundation, reports Neuroscience News.
The scientists were able to publish a similar report in the Journal of Neurophysiology stating that brain rewiring of two different species fo sea slugs between the same neurons independently varies of behavior.
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