Scientists say they’ve observed what they’re calling signs of complex decisionmaking in a single-celled organism, breathing new life into a theory that was laughed off over a century ago.
Dan Robitzski | futurism.com
The aquatic creature, Stentor roeseli, responds differently over time to the same stimulus, which ScienceAlert reports is evidence that the critter can make decisions — or at least do whatever the single-celled equivalent of changing one’s mind might be. It’s not quite accurate to say a creature without any sort of nervous system is actively thinking, but the discovery challenges many of scientists’ assumptions about animal intelligence.
Similar single-celled organisms will gradually respond less and less to repeated stimuli. Stentor roeseli, however, will first bend away from the source of the stimulus — but later change tactics and flap its cilia in defense, contract, or float away, according to research published Thursday in Current Biology.