‘Cognitive Big Bang’ Discovered in Tiny Sea Worm

‘Cognitive Big Bang’ Discovered in Tiny Sea Worm

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Several “brainy” genes that were duplicated in a tiny sea creature nearly 550 million years ago may have led to the massive expansion in intelligence in vertebrate species, two new studies have found. The studies, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest this duplication of certain genes spurred an explosion in the number of chemicals that regulate brain function in vertebrates (animals with backbones), thereby leading to greater intelligence, the research suggests.

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