Scientists use MRI scans to map complex neural connections to the squid’s brain

The team, led by Wen-Sung Chung and Justin Marshall of the University of Queensland, examined the Sepioteuthist itiana by using MRI scans, according tomedia reports. The brain has created a new neural connection map to help people better understand their behavior.

Scientists use MRI scans to map complex neural connections to the squid's brain


Cephalopods are widely considered to be the smartest molluscs, exhibiting complex behaviors such as being able to recognize patterns, solve problems, communicate through signals, and disguise themselves with different textures and colors — even though they are color-blind.

“We can see that many neural circuits are used for camouflage and visual communication,” Chung says. “

But how complex are these neural circuits? The answer may be on the map drawn by the latest MRI scan.

“This is the first time modern technology has been used to explore the brains of this magical animal, and we have proposed 145 new connections and pathways, more than 60 percent of which are related to visual and motor systems,” Chu said. In terms of the number of neurons exceeded the number of mice. For example, some cephalopods have more than 500 million neurons, compared with 200 million in one mouse and 20,000 in a normal mollusc. “

Chung points out that this complexity may be an example of converged evolution in which animals with very distant kinship, such as dogs and squid, can evolve similar solutions. That’s why squid’s eyes are very similar to human eyes, even though the two eyes were separated during evolution 560 million years ago.

In addition, Chung points out that similarities with closer studies to the nervous system of vertebrates allow them to make new predictions about the head and foot nervous system at a behavioral level. “Our findings promise to help us understand why these fascinating creatures exhibit such diverse behaviors and very different interactions. “

The study was published in iScience.