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Understanding Computations of Basal Nervous Systems: From Paramecium to Jellyfish

Organizers

Fabian Pallasdies | Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Jan-Hendrik Schleimer | Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Susanne Schreiber | Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Abstract

As "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," a theory on the
origins of nervous systems is crucial for or our understanding of how the structure of
nerve tissue evolved to satisfy the computational demands of animals at large. This
topic has been addressed in many different fields of biology, yet communication
across fields is sparse. To shed light on the evolutionary trajectories, however, a
more holistic understanding of the systems studied is required, encompassing the
macroscopic behavior of simple animals to the electrophysiological details of their
nervous systems.
Our aim is to bring together researchers with expertise across different species from
jellyfish and corals to ctenophores and sponges to investigate the evolutionary
origins of neurons and information-processing nerve nets. Our focus is to discuss,
how modelling can aid in the study of early nervous systems and what we can learn
from these comparatively simple organisms about the computations performed by
the nervous systems of higher animals.

 

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