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July 17, 2013

Worms with Heads Cut Off grow New Head and Remember the Past

at 3:08 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking

 Worms with Heads Cut Off grow New Head and Remember the Past


There are lots of crazy things in nature that are unbelievable. You have probably read about starfish being able to regenerate lost arms or how frogs can freeze solid for months with no heart beat and thaw out and be good as new in the summer. Many species of worms also have the ability to regrow chopped off sections of their body including internal organs, see the video below for some information on that. It turns out that when the brain regrows it also retains the memories of the brain that was chopped off. This was tested by¬†training flatworms to travel across a rough surface to access food prior to chopping their heads off, when the new head grew back the work remembered how to get to it’s food.

In the 50s a scientist also demonstrated that you could teach these worms to travel through a maze just by feeding untrained worms the ground up bodies of worms that were trained in the maze. Just imagine what our world would be like if the human body also operated in the same way?



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3 Responses to “Worms with Heads Cut Off grow New Head and Remember the Past”

  1. Taniwha Says:

    “Just imagine what our world would be like if the human body also operated in the same way?”

    Um, yeah …. geeks would have to hide from the zombies

  2. nyder Says:

    I’m not an expert and I don’t know how they tested it, but my guess is maybe the worms excrete something when they travel and are able to follow that to the good food sources. Wouldn’t need as much brain memory and just being able to follow chemicals your body excretes. Not unlike how I believe Ants do things.

  3. SuperNurd Says:

    @nyder, I too am not an expert in the subject but what you have said makes a lot of sense. From my understanding memory for biological forms is nothing like its digital counterpart, memory is a connection between multiple neurons that each “record” a certain portion of an event e.g. one neuron may contain the recording of what the smell was i.e. a logging of the data provided by the nose, and it would be linked to a recording of the emotional memory (how you felt), and these neurons may be used multiple times for different memories if there is any overlap. It seems highly unlikely that these links could be recreated, even in such a simple specimen.
    Please take note that I have no experience in this field and my comment should not be taken for fact, I’m merely an science loving 17 year old who would like to provide his say in the matter.

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