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New Research Demonstrates Complexity Underlying the ‘Simplest Form of Learning’

By November 3, 2017No Comments

For Dr. Rankin (pictured, right), a leader in the field of habituation research, understanding the way that habituation occurs in a simple organism has implications for a range of brain disorders in humans. C. elegans, the worms researchers in the Rankin lab study to understand learning and brain development, are nematodes that are widely used in neuroscience research for the similarities between their cell biology and that of humans. Much of what occurs in the worm cell is homologous, or comparable, to similar processes in human biology.

Habituation, thought to be a rudimentary form of learning through experience, is a cognitive building block on which our ability to selectively tune in or tune out repetitive stimuli is built. Without it, we’d struggle to filter out the noise of multi-sensory input and ignore unhelpful stimuli.