research by kandel and schwartz on sea slugs indicates that memory formation is associated with the
A sea slug’s brain.
The sea slug brain is a complex organ that has evolved several different ways to remember when it’s been damaged or lost. In some animals it can form a complete memory of the event that caused it to go on holiday or lost it’s body parts and in others it’s a “memorization” or “meme” of the event.
The sea slug brain is the second most complex organ in the animal kingdom, the only other being the brain of lobsters. It is also the only one that is capable of forming a complete memory of an event. So the sea slug brain is a very useful tool for studying memory formation.
A sea slug’s brain contains several hundred million neurons, each made up of a small ball of cytoplasm and surrounded by a synapse, essentially a gap between two neurons. Like a computer, the brain can be thought of as a series of computers connected together. Every neuron has a specific purpose and when a neuron is damaged, it will no longer fire, effectively disabling the brain. The sea slug brain is also highly mobile, making it hard to pinpoint exactly where it is.
So, I guess we can say that a sea slug brain has a lot in common with a human brain. Our brains have so many pathways that we can use them to build various memories. The sea slug brain is a good example of this. If someone were to cut off a slug’s head and leave it in a vat of water, it would start to rebuild itself and become more like a human brain.
It is quite remarkable that the sea slug species is able to regenerate without the aid of external help (which is why it has been so successful so long) and that the process is so efficient. I’m not sure how it would work on an elephant though. This is the first time I’ve seen the sea slug brain being used in a movie.
Sea slugs have been known to regenerate for at least a hundred and fifty years, but they don’t seem to be able to do it with a complete head. It might be because the sea slugs brains are far more complex than those of the land slugs which have only one functional brain. There is a theory that the sea slugs brain is made of many separate parts and that the parts work together to form a bigger, more complex brain.
The idea being that if you have a single brain, then you can only remember a small piece of your past.
If memory formation is associated with a sea slug brain, then it would support the idea that these creatures (or at least the ones that live in the sea near us) have a memory that’s the size of a postage stamp.