By Carlos -

Brainy worms: Scientists uncover counterpart of cerebral cortex in marine worms

ScienceDaily (2010-09-03) — Unexpectedly, scientists have now discovered a true counterpart of the cerebral cortex in an invertebrate, a marine worm. Their findings give an idea of what the most ancient higher brain centers looked like, and what our distant ancestors used them for.

Read the full press release here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100902121051.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

What’s a little weird about this , and my having just found this article today, is that NOT even two days ago I was pondering this very question. Well, not exactly this VERY question, but I was actually pondering the function of dreaming. Surely dreaming has an ancient and widespread evolutionary history, I thought, for we have some evidence that other mammals distantly related to us are capable of dreaming in their sleep. So I wondered, how far back, or how distant on the phylogenetic tree is dreaming shared among life on our planet.

I know, according to dream research, that the Dorsolateral Pre-frontal cortex is heavily involved in the process of dreaming. Well, if other animals dream in a similar way that we do, they’ve gotta have some analogous structures…. I don’t know where to carry this investigation further, but I just thought that this finding played into my weekly musings pretty nicely… that is all.

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