IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

how many neurons?

Jiri Barton jbar5010 at barbora.ms.mff.cuni.cz
Thu Nov 27 10:02:39 EST 1997


Hannah Dvorak-Carbone wrote:
> 
> In article <347C38C8.58B0 at iname.com>, barton at iname.com says...
> 
> >I've heard that some octopuses have not more than seventy neurons or so.
> >That's quite a few compared to human brain.
> 
> Whoever you heard this from is extremely misinformed.  Octopuses have
> perhaps the most highly developed brains of all invertebrates.  I would
> guess that their neurons number at least in the millions.
> 
> Even the lowly nematode, C. elegans, has something like 300 neurons.
> That might be someplace to start.  All the individual cells, including
> the neurons, of C. elegans have been identified.

Thank you. Still, 300 neurons is very small number; there is a big
difference between 10^2 neurons and 10^11 neurons (for human brain --
maybe 10 times more or less).
If you don't mind answering my next question; what can C. elegans do
with regard to intelligence? Are those 300 neurons just enough for a
random movement, or can the organism do something more, such as simple
decisions?
I've been working in artificial neural networks and I'm pretty new in
this field. I know 300 neurons constituting an ANN means quite a big
network so I wonder what a living beings can do with 300 neurons
(although there's a big difference between an artificial and a natural
neuron -- even bigger than I'd expected; after I read an article from
Scientific American 2/97 about news in neuron field).

Thank you in advance.



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net