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Spider brains are amazing, say Cornell researchers

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At Braindecoder:

“Spiders are very smart, that’s why we’re studying them,” says Ronald Hoy, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University. “They use visual cues to steer by, and the kind of mazes that they can solve is considered to be pretty impressive for an invertebrate.”

There is a limit to how small neurons can get, so

Perhaps as a solution to space limits, some small spiders have brains that spill out all the way into their legs. Scientists have discovered that the central nervous systems of the smallest spiders fill up almost 80 percent of their total body cavity, including about a quarter of the space inside their legs. More.

It was easier to believe in Darwinism when we thought spiders had no brains.

See also: There is no tree of intelligence

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13 Replies to “Spider brains are amazing, say Cornell researchers

  1. 1
    Andre says:

    Spiders are not amazing they are just blind luck accidents on a pale blue dot. What are these guys smoking?

  2. 2
    Don Pedro says:

    It was easier to believe in Darwinism when we thought spiders had no brains.

    A strange sentence. Who is “we”, and in what way does spider intelligence undermine “Darwinism”?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “Scientists have discovered that the central nervous systems of the smallest spiders fill up almost 80 percent of their total body cavity, including about a quarter of the space inside their legs.”

    That finding reminds me of this finding from a few years ago:

    Even Severed Octopus Arms Have Smart Moves – Katherine Harmon Courage – August 27, 2013
    Excerpt: The octopus’s nervous system is a fascinating one. Some two thirds of its neurons reside not in its central brain but out in its flexible, stretchable arms. This, researchers suspect, lightens the cognitive coordination demands and allows octopuses to let their arms do some of the “thinking”—or at least the coordination, problem-solving and reaction—on their own.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....art-moves/

    Also of related interest:

    “The brain of a small fruit fly uses energy in the micro-watts for complex flight control and visual information processing to find and fly to food. I don’t think a supercomputer could yet simulate what the fruit fly brain does even while using megawatts of energy. The difference of over ten orders of magnitude and the level of energy used is an indication of just how incredible biological systems are.
    Professor Keiichi Namba, Osaka University
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....48#t=1645s

    also of related note:

    Engineers have calculated that a woven cord of spider’s silk as thick as a pencil could stop a jet in midair.
    From the book ‘Weird Nature’ By John Downer

    Spider Silk Is Stronger Than Steel
    Excerpt:
    * The silk thread spun by spiders, measuring just one-thousandth of a millimeter across, is five times stronger than steel of the same thickness.
    * It can stretch up to four times its own length.
    * It is also so light that enough thread to stretch clear around the planet would weigh only 320 grams.
    “On the human scale, a web resembling a fishing net could catch a passenger jet airplane.”

    Biomimicry- Spider Hair: The Perfect Water Repellant Surface – Feb 2010
    Excerpt: “Engineering researchers have crafted a flat surface that refuses to get wet,” began a press release from University of Florida. “Water droplets skitter across it like ball bearings tossed on ice.,,, Because the trick is done with physics instead of chemistry, the hydrophobic surface manufactured to spider spec does not have to slough off any dangerous chemicals. Sigmund is now working on similar surface tricks that can repel oil. If engineers can figure out economical ways to manufacture these surfaces with enough durability for a range of temperatures, industry will beat a path,,,,.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100224b

    Researchers discussing spider’s web can’t stop using the forbidden word – design – February 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....rd-design/

    Spiders Have Eight (Well-Designed) Eyes – October 30, 2012
    Excerpt: Look what researchers at the Optical Society of America are doing with spiders. Incredible as it sounds, they are taking spider silk and using it for fiber optics. Spider silk is already prized as an ideal material: it’s strong, flexible, and biodegradable. Now, a team has found it can also transmit and guide light almost as well as glass fibers.
    One team is using it as a light guide in photonic chips, while another is trying to imitate the proteins in silk from spiders and silkworms to be able to manufacture it. This second team has already made a silk-based “plastic” that can be used for everything from biodegradable cups to implantable devices that dissolve in the body.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65551.html

    A spider that builds elaborate, fake spiders and hangs them in its web has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon.
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....Science%29

    Spider Spinning Web to Music in Fast Motion (spider timelapse)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4LE_3duK4Y

    verse:

    Proverbs 30:28
    “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces” –

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    of related interest:

    Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations – Sept. 1, 2014
    Excerpt: Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform.,,,
    – Perhaps the most surprising result of our study is that these peripheral neurons, which are engaged when a fingertip examines an object, perform the same type of calculations done by neurons in the cerebral cortex. Somewhat simplified, it means that our touch experiences are already processed by neurons in the skin before they reach the brain for further processing, says Andrew Pruszynski.
    http://www.medfak.umu.se/engli......cid238881

  5. 5
    stenosemella says:

    We tend to be biased by the vertebrate body plan where a centralized brain tends to be the centre of data processing. But many invertebrates have a very decentralized nervous system. Sea urchins and starfish have learning abilities yet they do not have anything that resembles a brain.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    Good point from the author of thius thread.
    It WAS easier to believe in evolution when spiders were dumb. Primitive rose to smart is evolutions lesson.
    Spider brains shows low creatures with high end features. Just as a creator would do.
    I think the brains are just memory bits and pieces and brains don;’t exist for thinking spiders.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    stenosemella you state:

    We tend to be biased by the vertebrate body plan where a centralized brain tends to be the centre of data processing. But many invertebrates have a very decentralized nervous system. Sea urchins and starfish have learning abilities yet they do not have anything that resembles a brain.

    I don’t think the bias of Theists is anywhere near as bad as the bias of atheists is in this matter.
    After all the Atheist claims, despite the fact he has not one wit of evidence that it is possible, that material neurons/brains can generate consciousness all by their lonesome. Whereas the Theist claims that the soul, heart, mind, and consciousness, although they are ‘housed’ in a material body, are not reducible to a material basis and that they, in fact, can exist apart from the body and brain.

    Of related interest to the ‘soul’:

    Dr. Moreland gets a little more explicit on the ‘soul issue’, and how it relates to humans, animals, and even single cell creatures, in this following short 3 minute video:

    “I think very primitive animals clearly have faculties of sensation but probably not faculties of thought. Higher animals like a dog would have a faculty of thought in addition to faculties of sensation.,,, I think the human soul will never cease to exist but only because I think God sustains it.,,, but a soul can exist without a (material) body.,,, (A one celled bacteria) is not conscious. But you can explain the interaction of its parts mechanistically. (So) You have to have a whole that is prior to the parts if you have evidence that the parts function and aren’t what they are in light of that (prior) whole. (i.e. The very simplest of life have a soul but do not have consciousness).”
    JP Moreland – BIOLA emeritus Professor of Theology – Is The Soul Immortal – 1:57 minute mark – video
    http://www.closertotruth.com/s.....video-2758

    I agree with his opinion.

    Quote:

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

    Here is a piece of evidence to make both Atheists and Theists scratch their heads:

    Memory transference in organ transplant recipients
    Excerpt: Case 3: murder mystery involving donor is solved by an organ recipient
    An eight year-old girl, who received the heart of a murdered ten year-old girl, began having recurring vivid nightmares about the murder. Her mother arranged a consultation with a psychiatrist who after several sessions concluded that she was witnessing actual physical incidents. They decided to call the police who used the detailed descriptions of the murder (the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him) given by the little girl to find and convict the man in question (2).
    Case 4: the gender transplant
    The donor was a 19 year-old woman killed in an automobile accident. The recipient was a 29 year-old woman diagnosed with cardiomyopathy secondary to endocarditis.
    The donor’s mother reported:
    “My Sara was the most loving girl. She owned and operated her own health food restaurant and scolded me constantly about not being a vegetarian. She was a great kid — wild, but great. She was into the free-love thing and had a different man in her life every few months. She was man-crazy when she was a little girl and it never stopped. She was able to write some notes to me when she was dying. She was so out of it, but she kept saying how she could feel the impact of the car hitting them. She said she could feel it going through her body.”
    The recipient reported:
    “You can tell people about this if you want to, but it will make you sound crazy. When I got my new heart, two things happened to me. First, almost every night, and still sometimes now, I actually feel the accident my donor had. I can feel the impact in my chest. It slams into me, but my doctor said everything looks fine. Also, I hate meat now. I can’t stand it. I was McDonald’s biggest money-maker, and now meat makes me throw up. Actually, whenever I smell it, my heart starts to race. But that’s not the big deal. My doctor said that’s just due to my medicines. I couldn’t tell him, but what really bothers me is that I’m engaged to be married now. He’s a great guy and we love each other. The sex is terrific. The problem is, I’m gay. At least, I thought I was. After my transplant, I’m not… I don’t think, anyway…I’m sort of semi- or confused gay. Women still seem attractive to me, but my boyfriend turns me on; women don’t. I have absolutely no desire to be with a woman. I think I got a gender transplant.”
    The recipient’s brother reported:
    “Susie’s straight now. I mean it seriously. She was gay and now her new heart made her straight. She threw out all her books and stuff about gay politics and never talks about it anymore. She was really militant about it before. She holds hands and cuddles with Steven just like my girlfriend does with me. She talks girl-talk with my girlfriend, where before she would be lecturing about the evils of sexist men. And my sister, the queen of the ‘Big Mac‘, hates meat. She won’t even have it in the house (3).
    http://www.namahjournal.com/do.....iss-1.html

    Verse and Music:

    Luke 10:27
    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

    Kari Jobe – Revelation Song –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FObjd5wrgZ8

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note:

    The Octopus: More Complex than a Simple Mollusk Should Be – April 22, 2015
    Excerpt: “To cope with the exceptional computational complexity that is involved in the control of its hyper-redundant arms, the octopus has adopted unique motor control strategies in which the central brain activates rather autonomous motor programs in the elaborated peripheral nervous system of the arms. How octopuses coordinate their eight long and flexible arms in locomotion is still unknown.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95431.html

  9. 9
    Don Pedro says:

    Spider brains shows low creatures with high end features.

    What are “low creatures” and how do they differ from “high creatures”? Quote a biologist who says that spiders are “low”.

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    I would think that we would always connect eyes with neurons to organisms with brains. In order for a spider to do what it does it takes quite a bit of command and control. I would think that we would always connect such a thing with a brain.

    Just sayin’

    Now brains down their legs gives a whole new dimension to pulling the legs off one at a time and observe what happens.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    Brainless spiders are even more amazing.

    And spider-less brains? I don’t even want to think about it.

  12. 12
    tjguy says:

    Spider brains are amazing, say Cornell researchers

    YUP!! Ain’t evolution marvelous?

    Evidently, there are NO LIMITS to what it can do.

    —————————————-

    Spider brains ARE amazing. That much is undeniable and self-evident.

    Whether or not evolution could really produce such amazing things though, that is a matter of belief.

  13. 13
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    I’m a little behind on this thread (no pun intended), but all I know is that the Orb Weavers outside my house are amazing. I can throw a large piece of bark into its web, creating a tangled mess. But in a matter of seconds, those suckers can untangle the debris and drop it to the ground, leaving only a few small holes to repair. I can’t even get the knot out of my kid’s shoe. But the spider gets all of his legs working, pulling strands up, over, around and though, rolling the debris down the web until the job is done (which is fast). These creatures are solving puzzles, it seems to me, in order to know which strands to pull apart and away next, in the correct order, without making the knot worse. I’m impressed, anyway.

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