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  • The human brain is one of the most sophisticated organs in the world,

    人類的大腦是世界上最複雜精密的器官之一

  • a supercomputer made of billions of neurons

    是一個由數以幾十億的神經元所構成的超級電腦

  • that processes and controls all of our senses, thoughts, and actions.

    可以處理和控制我們所有的感官、思考和動作

  • But there was something Charles Darwin found even more impressive:

    但有件事情讓Charles Darwin感到更加印象深刻的是:

  • the brain of an ant,

    螞蟻的大腦

  • which he called one of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world.

    他把它稱作世界上最令人驚嘆的原子般的物質

  • If you find it hard to believe that something so tiny

    若是你難以相信在如此小的東西內

  • could have a complex brain,

    能夠具有一顆複雜的大腦

  • you're not alone.

    這是很正常的

  • In his project to classify and describe all living things,

    瑞典自然學家Carl Linnaeus在進行將所有生物做分類和描述的計畫當中

  • Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus assumed insects had no brains at all.

    假設昆蟲根本不具有大腦

  • He was wrong, but understandably so.

    他錯了,但是這是可以諒解的

  • Insect brains are not only miniscule,

    昆蟲大腦不僅僅十分的小

  • but in many respects, they function differently than our own.

    且許多昆蟲的大腦與我們人類的腦運作的方式相去甚遠

  • One of the most noticeable differences

    其中一個最容易注意到的差異

  • is that an insect that loses its head can still walk,

    是昆蟲在頭斷了之後仍能行走

  • scratch itself,

    搔癢

  • breathe,

    呼吸

  • and even fly.

    甚至飛行

  • This is because while our nervous system works like a monarchy,

    這是由於我們人類的神經系統是以中央集權式的

  • with the brain calling the shots,

    由大腦決定所有的事

  • the insect nervous system works more like a decentralized federation.

    而昆蟲的神經系統比較像是一個分權的聯邦制運作方式

  • Many insect activities, like walking or breathing,

    許多昆蟲的日常生理機能,像是行走或者呼吸

  • are coordinated by clusters of neurons, also known as ganglia,

    都由在它們身上的集束神經叢,也叫做神經節

  • along their bodies.

    來調控

  • Together with the brain, these local ganglia form the insect nervous system.

    這些周圍神經節和大腦一起形成這些昆蟲的神經系統

  • While an insect can do a lot with just its local ganglia,

    即使昆蟲的周圍神經節能夠讓它做很多事情

  • the brain is still crucial for its survival.

    但是它的大腦依然扮演其生存不可或缺的角色

  • An insect's brain lets it perceive the world through sight and smell.

    一隻昆蟲的大腦讓它能夠透過視覺和嗅覺來覺知這個世界

  • It also chooses suitable mates,

    還有擇偶的功能

  • remembers locations of food sources and hives,

    記得食物和巢穴的位置

  • regulates communication,

    以及使其彼此間能夠溝通

  • and even coordinates navigation over huge distances.

    甚至與越過長程距離的導航行進有關

  • And this vast diversity of behaviors

    而這些廣泛、多樣的行為

  • is controlled by an organ the size of the head of a pin,

    都由像是一跟針的針尖那樣大小的器官來調控

  • with less than one million neurons,

    與我們大腦860億個神經元相比

  • compared to our 86 billion.

    其只包含少於100萬個神經元在內

  • But even though the insect brain is organized very differently from ours,

    即使昆蟲大腦結構組織與我們很不相同

  • there are some striking similarities.

    但還是有些很相似的地方

  • For example, most insects have smell detectors on their antennae,

    舉例來說,許多昆蟲有氣味分子偵測器在它們的觸角上

  • similar to those found in human noses.

    與我們人類的鼻子功能相似

  • And our primary olfactory brain regions look and function rather similarly,

    還有兩者的初級嗅覺腦區的外觀和功能都十分類似

  • with clusters of neurons activated and deactivated in precise timing

    都有叢集的神經元能被特定氣味分子

  • to code for specific scents.

    在精準的時間內啟動或者關閉

  • Scientists have been astonished by these similarities

    科學家們對這些相似之觸感到震驚

  • because insects and humans are not very closely related.

    因為昆蟲和人類在生物學上並沒有非常有關連

  • In fact, our last common ancestor was a simple worm-like creature

    事實上與我們相差最遠的祖先是一個簡單、像蟲一樣的生物

  • that lived more than 500 million years ago.

    生活了超過5億年之久

  • So how did we end up with such similar brain structures

    當我們彼此間演化之路看似幾乎完全不同的情況下

  • when our evolution took almost entirely different paths?

    我們到底如何最終發展到如此相近的大腦結構?

  • Scientists call this phenomenon convergent evolution.

    科學家稱這樣的現象為趨同演化

  • It's the same principle behind birds, bats, and bees separately evolving wings.

    這是鳥類、蝙蝠以及蜜蜂翅膀分別演化成類似樣子的背後的原則

  • Similar selective pressures can cause natural selection

    在非常不同的物種間由於相似的天擇壓力

  • to favor the same evolutionary strategy

    會導向它們有相同的演化策略

  • in species with vastly different evolutionary pasts.

    造成相似的演化結果

  • By studying the comparison between insect and human brains,

    藉由研究比較昆蟲和人腦

  • scientists can thus understand which of our brain functions are unique,

    科學家能因此了解我們大腦到底哪裡奇特

  • and which are general solutions to evolutionary problems.

    以及哪些是演化問題的常態性解決方法

  • But this is not the only reason scientists are fascinated by insect brains.

    但這不是唯一科學家覺得昆蟲大腦迷人之處

  • Their small size and simplicity makes it easier to understand

    這樣小且簡單的腦讓

  • exactly how neurons work together in the brain.

    我們能比較容易了解到底在這之中神經原是怎麼交互運作的

  • This is also valuable for engineers,

    這也對於研究昆蟲腦部以幫助設計從像是自動駕駛的飛機

  • who study the insect brain to help design control systems

    到微型探勘-救援蟑螂機器人的控制系統的

  • for everything from self-flying airplanes to tiny search-and-rescue roach bots.

    工程師們來說是很有價值的

  • So, size and complexity are not always the most impressive things.

    所以,大小和複雜性並不總是最令人印象深刻的事情

  • The next time you try to swat a fly,

    下一次你試著去揮打一隻蒼蠅

  • take a moment to marvel at the efficiency of its tiny nervous system

    而它輕易的閃過的時候

  • as it outsmarts your fancy brain.

    記得花一點時間讚嘆如此微小的神經系統居然有如此高的效率來逃過你的手掌心

The human brain is one of the most sophisticated organs in the world,

人類的大腦是世界上最複雜精密的器官之一

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 昆蟲 大腦 演化 神經元 科學家

【TED-Ed】Anna Stöckl - 昆蟲大腦不思議 (Why the insect brain is so incredible - Anna Stöckl)

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    Alvin He 發佈於 2016 年 06 月 09 日
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