Protist behavioral complexity

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Sauerkraut
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Protist behavioral complexity

#1 Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:22 am

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sin ... mplex-ways

Protists might actually be smarter than some humans in my jaded estimation.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:09 pm

Applause for posting this link. Appears to be a very interesting scientific adventure! The link leads to a book by H. S. Jennings. Has anyone found the detailed description of the "messing" experiments in the book or elsewhere ? how to "nudge" a protist with chemicals or other means ? on first sight, such studies seem to be within the capability of hobbyist microscopists.
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Sauerkraut
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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#3 Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:06 pm

I posted this from my phone yesterday, not noticing the link to the book Behavior of the Lower Organisms. That's a very interesting book - worth a read for understanding protist behaviors. From my observational experience, the protists move with a certain intelligence as opposed to random oblivion. My theory has been this: people label the gut as the second brain (e.g. getting a gut feeling, going with your gut), but I suspect the gut is really the first brain. The gut developed long before complex brains did during evolution. These 'simpler' organisms weren't just dumbly plodding along, rather they have intelligence. And maybe that intelligence is from the gut.

Or is that just my gut feeling? ;)

Chapter X (pg 170) describes the experiments with Stentor.

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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#4 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:40 pm

Sauerkraut wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:06 pm
...Chapter X (pg 170) describes the experiments with Stentor.
Thanks !
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Wes
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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#5 Post by Wes » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:18 pm

You can read the original (recent) research here:

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fu ... 19)31431-9

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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#6 Post by Hobbyst46 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:42 pm

Sauerkraut wrote:...
Wes wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:18 pm
You can read the original (recent) research here:

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fu ... 19)31431-9
personally I draw several practical conclusions from the original Jennings study and the recent research:
1) Jennings found "intelligence" not only in S. Roeseli but in other creatures as well.
2) Jennings apparently made his discoveries with simple brightfield microscopy, although S. Roeseli is transparent. The recent research likewise was performed with BF. They used an inverted microscope and a 10X0.3 objective of 16mm focal depth. Obviously, this is the type of research where an inverted is advantageous.
3) The protist responses were "triggered" by means of a micro glass tube, which can be fabricated by pulling heated glass tubes. The culprit, though, is the need for a micro-positioner or micro-manipulator. Again, the inverted scope is an advantage for such operations.
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einman
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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#7 Post by einman » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:30 pm

you can download a pdf of the Jennings book here: https://ia800207.us.archive.org/7/items ... nngoog.pdf

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wporter
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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#8 Post by wporter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:39 pm

Why on earth would a biologist think that single cells were "genetically programmed to respond uniformly to some stimulus"?

Cells are well known to have a multitude of different receptors in their cell membranes. Depending on the effect of a variable stimulus on different types and/or different numbers of receptors, the signaling results (i.e., the resulting response by the cell) could vary quite bit, also.

This isn't 'decision making' a la a neural network, like that of multicelled creatures, but certainly could seem like one to an observer. But it's the results that count in evolution, so you work with what you've got. The inner workings of cells are only partially understood. Out of the tens of thousands of cellular proteins that exist in a given cell, only a fraction (maybe a third?) have been identified, much less understood as to function.

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Re: Protist behavioral complexity

#9 Post by Sauerkraut » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:31 pm

wporter wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:39 pm

This isn't 'decision making' a la a neural network, like that of multicelled creatures, but certainly could seem like one to an observer...
I don't believe anyone is suggesting that Stentor and other protists are using a neural network to make cognitive decisions. But to me the findings are interesting because they provide insights to the beginnings of more complex behaviors (reactions) to environmental stimuli, that can be applied to better understanding the evolution of more complex organisms.

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