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为什么章鱼的大脑令人如此惊奇

Why the octopus brain is so extraordinary - Cláudio L. Guerra

章鱼是否可能与我们有相同之处
What could octopuses possibly have in common with us?
毕竟 它们没有肺没有脊柱 甚至任何我们都认可的复数器官它们都没有
After all, they don’t have lungs, spines, or even a plural noun we can all agree on.
不过 它们就如同我们了解的其他动物一样
But what they do have is the ability to solve puzzles,
拥有解决问题
learn through observation,
通过观察来学习
and even use tools,
甚至使用工具的能力
just like some other animals we know.
而章鱼如此聪明
And what makes octopus intelligence so amazing
是因为它们的生理结构
is that it comes from a biological structure
和我们完全不同
completely different from ours.
两百多种的章鱼都是属于
The 200 or so species of octopuses
头足纲的软体动物
are mollusks belonging to the order cephalopoda,
希腊语称作头足
Greek for head-feet.
那些头包含了惊人数量的脑髓
Those heads contain impressively large brains,
并且它们脑和身体的比例相似于其他智慧动物的
with a brain to body ratio similar to that of other intelligent animals,
以及它们有一个神经元数量和狗一样多的复杂的神经系统
and a complex nervous system with about as many neurons as that of a dog.
不过 这五亿神经元分散在
But instead of being centralized in the brain,
一个互相连通着的神经中枢网络上 并组成了三个主要结构
these 500 million neurons are spread out in a network of interconnected ganglia
而不是集中在大脑里
organized into three basic structures.
他们的主脑只占了大约百分之十的神经元
The central brain only contains about 10% of the neurons,
而两片巨大的视神经叶则占了百分之三十
while the two huge optic lobes contain about 30%.
剩下的百分之六十都在触手上
The other 60% are in the tentacles,
对于人类来说 就像我们的手臂都拥有属于它们自己的独立意识一样
which for humans would be like our arms having minds of their own.
到这里 事情就变得更有趣了
This is where things get even more interesting.
像我们一样的脊椎动物都拥有一副结实的骨架来撑起我们的身体
Vertebrates like us have a rigid skeleton to support our bodies,
而骨节使我们能动起来
with joints that allow us to move.
但不是所有动作都能做
But not all types of movement are allowed.
比如你不能让膝盖向后弯曲
You can’t bend your knee backwards,
或是将你的手臂弯到中间
or bend your forearm in the middle, for example.
而头足类动物并没有骨架
Cephalopods, on the other hand, have no bones at all,
这使它们的手脚能够随意弯曲
allowing them to bend their limbs at any point and in any direction.
所以将他们的触手有无数种
So shaping their tentacles
延展的可能性 而这种可塑性
into any one of the virtually limitless number of possible arrangements
不同于我们所知的任何东西
is unlike anything we are used to.
用大脑处理一个简单的任务 像拿起并吃掉一个苹果
Consider a simple task, like grabbing and eating an apple.
我们的人脑会读取我们身体的整个神经系统图
The human brain contains a neurological map of our body.
当你看到苹果的时候
When you see the apple,
大脑的运动中心会激活你相应的肌肉
your brain’s motor center activates the appropriate muscles,
让你能伸出手臂
allowing you to reach out with your arm,
用手抓住苹果
grab it with your hand,
再弯曲你的肘关节
bend your elbow joint,
将苹果送入你的口中
and bring it to your mouth.
而对于章鱼来说 这过程就很不一样了
For an octopus, the process is quite different.
相对于神经网络图
Rather than a body map,
章鱼脑拥有的是一个行为库
the cephalopod brain has a behavior library.
所以当章鱼发现食物时
So when an octopus sees food,
它们的大脑不会去激活身体的任何部位
its brain doesn’t activate a specific body part,
而是条件反射地去抓捕食物
but rather a behavioral response to grab.
当信号通过整个神经网络时
As the signal travels through the network,
手臂上的神经元获得了信息
the arm neurons pick up the message
它们会立刻行动起来控制身体的移动
and jump into action to command the movement.
在手臂碰到食物的瞬间
As soon as the arm touches the food,
肌肉会激活一个穿过手臂传达至中枢的信号
a muscle activation wave travels all the way through the arm to its base,
而这个时候手臂又会回传另一个由中枢发出的信号至末端
while the arm sends back another wave from the base to the tip.
信号会在食物和手臂中枢的中途相遇
The signals meet halfway between the food and the base of the arm,
以让手臂知道该在什么地方弯曲
letting it know to bend at that spot.
所有的这些 代表着章鱼的八条手臂本质上来说
What all this means is that each of an octopus’s eight arms
都能够独立思考
can essentially think for itself.
这让它在面临一个新的形势或问题的时候
This gives it amazing flexibility and creativity
能够异常灵活并具创造力
when facing a new situation or problem,
无论当它们打开一个瓶子以获得食物
whether its opening a bottle to reach food,
从迷宫中逃脱
escaping through a maze,
在一个新的环境中游来游去
moving around in a new environment,
并改变自己皮肤的花纹及颜色以融合进环境
changing the texture and the color of its skin to blend into the scenery,
还是模仿其他生物来吓走敌人
or even mimicking other creatures to scare away enemies.
头足类动物或许比我们脊椎动物更早的
Cephalopods may have evolved complex brains
进化出了复杂的大脑
long before our vertebrate relatives.
而章鱼的智慧可不仅仅对它们自身有用
And octopus intelligence isn’t just useful for octopuses.
这些与众不同的神经系统以及独立思考的附肢
Their radically different nervous system and autonomously thinking appendages
已经给一个新的利用柔软材质
have inspired new research
制造灵活机器人的研究带来了灵感
in developing flexible robots made of soft materials.
研究这种智慧是如何在不同的进化路径上诞生
And studying how intelligence can arise along such a divergent evolutionary path
就能够帮助我们更深入地理解智慧和意识
can help us understand more about intelligence and consciousness in general.
我们也能知道什么样的其他智慧生物是可能存在的
Who knows what other forms of intelligent life are possible,
或者它们是怎么经历这个世界的
or how they process the world around them.

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视频概述

章鱼,这种软体动物和我们大不一样,它拥有的到底是智慧还是本能?

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收集自网络

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瞌睡虫儿

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLkKiVIBxXU

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