Insects extremely clever despite tiny brains: Study

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Washington, June 12 (ANI): Insects are extremely intelligent despite their tiny brains, says a new study.

For the first time, researchers from the University of Adelaide have worked out how insects judge the speed of moving objects.

It appears that insect brain cells have additional mechanisms, which can calculate how to make a controlled landing on a flower or reach a food source. This ability only works in a natural setting.

Lead author David O'Carroll said that insects have well identified brain cells dedicated to analysing visual motion, which are very similar to humans.

"It was previously not understood how a tiny insect brain could use multiple brain pathways to judge motion," O'Carroll said.

"We have known for many years that they can estimate the direction of moving objects but until now we have not known how they judge speed like other animals, including humans.

"It appears they take into account different light patterns in nature, such as a foggy morning or a sunny day, and their brain cells adapt accordingly.

"This mechanism in their brain enables them to distinguish moving objects in a wide variety of natural settings. It also highlights the fact that single neurons can exhibit extremely complex behaviour," he added.

The study has been published in the international journal Current Biology. (ANI)

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