How the cuttlefish’s powerful memory system resists aging


Can you remember What did you have for dinner last weekend? This ability is the function of episodic memory. Our ability to recall the time and place of a specific event usually decreases with age.Cuttlefish also seem to show some form of episodic memory, but unlike humans, their ability does not decline with age, according to A new paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Alexandra Schnell, a co-author of the University of Cambridge, conducted experiments at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This ability, despite showing other signs of aging, such as loss of muscle function and appetite.”

Earlier this year, We reported A study by Schnell and other colleagues show Cuttlefish can delay satisfaction.Specifically, they can pass a famous cephalopod Stanford Marshmallow Test: Waiting for the prey they like instead of being satisfied with the less-than-ideal prey. Cuttlefish also performed better in subsequent learning tests—this is the first time this link between self-control and intelligence has been found in a non-mammalian species.

In these experiments, the cuttlefish had to choose between two different prey: it could choose to eat raw prawns immediately, or it could choose to delay satisfying the preferred live grass shrimp. The subject can see two options during the experiment, and can give up waiting at any time, if he is tired of eating grass shrimp, he can eat prawns.

The team also performed a learning task on cuttlefish to assess their cognitive abilities. Cephalopods first learned to associate visual symbols with specific prey rewards, and then the researchers reversed the situation and associated the same reward with different symbols. They found that cuttlefish were able to wait for better rewards and tolerate delays of up to 50 to 130 seconds, comparable to brain vertebrates such as chimpanzees, crows, and parrots.

The focus of this latest research is whether the cuttlefish has some form of episodic memory—the ability to recall past events, as well as the background about what happened, where it happened, and when it happened. Humans develop this ability around the age of 4, and as we enter old age, our episodic memory will decline. This is in contrast to semantic memory, which is our ability to recall general knowledge without spatial and temporal context. As we age, human semantic learning has been proven to remain relatively complete.

The hippocampus of the human brain plays an important role in episodic memory, and it is believed that its deterioration over time is the reason why our episodic memory declines with age. For a long time, scientists believe that episodic memory is unique to humans, because this memory extraction is related to the conscious experience of recall. Humans can express these aspects verbally; it is much more difficult to assess the possible conscious experience of nonverbal (in human terms) animals.

Nonetheless, some animal species have been shown to exhibit “episode-like” memory capabilities-scientists in this subfield use this term to “clearly admit that we have not assumed the human nature of language and the self-projection consciousness involved in consciousness.” Consciousness. Time,” as in Schnell et al. Write in the footnote. E.g, A 1998 study Found that the birds can remember when and where they stored forage food and what the food is.Behaviors that indicate episodic memory are also observed Magpie, Great apes, mouse, with Zebrafish.

Evidence of similar episodic memory is already in squid. Cuttlefish do not have a hippocampus, but they have a unique brain structure and organization. The complete vertical lobes show similarities in connectivity and functions (ie learning and memory) with the human hippocampus. Past studies have shown that cuttlefish are sufficiently oriented towards the future to optimize their foraging behavior and remember the details of the content, location and time of foraging in the past—a hallmark of episodic memory—adjust their strategies to respond to changing prey conditions .


Source link