JUN 12, 2020 9:20 PM PDT

How A Computer Sea Slug Can Get Addicted To A Drug

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Sea slugs have long been used to study brain models especially in research concerned with memory and learning. Now, researchers have built an artificial brain based on that of a sea slug.

Watch this video below to earn about past exciting research endeavors:

The computer model was taught to live like a sea slug, with such characteristic’s scientists decided to add ‘homeostatic plasticity’ and then exposed its artificial brain to an intoxicating drug. What happened next? The computer was addicted.

The research idea stemmed from a long-term project concerned with developing a working model for the brain.

"By watching how this brain makes sense of its environment, we expect to learn more about how real-world brains work," said Rhanor Gillette, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor emeritus of molecular and integrative physiology who led the research. "We also think our model will make a great educational tool."

Findings were published in Scientific Reports and describes how scientists named their model ‘ASIMOV’— named after the famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov who may have been the first to discuss robotic ethics.

"If it's very intoxicated by the drug, what usually happens in our simulation is that it just ignores all the other options -- for example, the option to eat," adds postdoctoral researcher and lead author Ekaterina Gribkova who built the computer model. "It ends up in this malnourished and intoxicated state. But if it goes into withdrawal because it can't find the drug, it loses its selectivity for different kinds of prey. It just eats everything in sight.

"We wanted to actually recreate addiction in this organism," she said. "And this is the simplest way we could do it."

"We expect that behavioral complexity in animals probably evolved from very simple beginnings like this, so we're trying to recreate that in a very evolutionarily plausible way," Gillette said.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
OCT 21, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Leaving Fossil Fuels in the Dust: Racing Company Licenses Quick-Fast Charging Batteries for Cars
OCT 21, 2022
Leaving Fossil Fuels in the Dust: Racing Company Licenses Quick-Fast Charging Batteries for Cars
Marc-Antoni Racing Corp. company has licensed a group of quick-charging batteries developed by the Oak Ridge National Li ...
NOV 02, 2022
Technology
e-Cigarettes Pose Cardiovascular Health Risks Similar to Regular Cigarettes, Study Finds
NOV 02, 2022
e-Cigarettes Pose Cardiovascular Health Risks Similar to Regular Cigarettes, Study Finds
e-Cigarettes quickly emerged as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Many companies claimed that e-cigarettes, or v ...
NOV 10, 2022
Technology
Potholes Might Say Bye-Bye Thanks to New Machine-Learning Technique
NOV 10, 2022
Potholes Might Say Bye-Bye Thanks to New Machine-Learning Technique
In a recent study published in Engineering Structures, a team of researchers from the University of Technology Sydney ha ...
NOV 26, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Could We Find Life in Caves Off Earth?
NOV 26, 2022
Could We Find Life in Caves Off Earth?
In two connected studies published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, “Fundamental Science and Engin ...
NOV 26, 2022
Technology
Researchers Control Hydrogels with Fuel
NOV 26, 2022
Researchers Control Hydrogels with Fuel
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, a team of researchers from the Delft University of Technology in T ...
DEC 02, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
CO2 Levels Show No Sign of Slowing Down
DEC 02, 2022
CO2 Levels Show No Sign of Slowing Down
Global carbon emissions show no sign of slowing down despite a need to stay below 1.5°C of total warming, an article ...
Loading Comments...