[ExI] The Most Complete Brain Map Ever Is Here: A Fly's 'Connectome'

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Jan 22 20:15:54 UTC 2020



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Dave Sill via extropy-chat
Subject: [ExI] The Most Complete Brain Map Ever Is Here: A Fly's 'Connectome'




>… They’re expert navigators, for one, zipping around without crashing into walls…


This always amazed me.  If you watch what happens when flying bugs get inside the house, you see that some bugs will continuously bop against the walls, not hard enough to harm them really but they fly right into them like they don’t know they are there or don’t know how close they are.  OK so think about it: a uniformly painted wall from a bug’s perspective is just a big uniform surface.  Insects don’t really focus two eyes on a point to judge distance as we predator mammals do.  They don’t have the necessary parts to do that, yet some bugs will fly towards a wall then turn away, while others will just keep going and bop.  Others are stupid: they keep bopping repeatedly and it so odd: some flies will bop, others will turn.  They all look pretty similar, but clearly they are different beasts.  Often my ponderings are interrupted by a sharp SMACK as my bride swats the buzzy bastard, but until then I am intrigued by the dichotomy between this bug and that one.

I was not aware that melanogaster was a turner rather than a bopper, but I am tempted to experiment with them.  It would be easy to do: go get a fallen orange or lemon, bring it inside, observe the flight habits, annoy my family and so on.


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