A group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Leicester discovered that the genes required for learning, memory, aggression and other complex behaviors originated about 650 million years ago.
The findings led by Dr. Roberto Feuda, from the Neurogenetic group of the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology and other colleagues from the University of Leicester and the University of Friborg (Switzerland), has now been published in Communication in Nature.
Dr. Feuda said, “We have known for a long time that monoamines such as serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline act as neuromodulators in the nervous system, playing a role in complex behavior and functions such as learning and memory, as even processes like sleeping and feeding.”
“However, the origin of the genes required for the production, recognition, and degradation of these monoamines is less certain. Using computational methods, we have reconstructed the evolutionary history of these genes and showed that most of the genes involved in monoamine production, modulation. , and acceptance originate from the bilaterian stem group.”
“This finding has profound implications for the evolutionary origins of complex behaviors such as those modulated by monoamines that we see in humans and other animals.”
The authors suggest that this new way of modulating neuronal circuits may have played a role in the Cambrian Explosion—known as the Big Bang—that gave rise to the greatest diversification of life for most of the giants. group of animals alive today by facilitating neural circuits. to facilitate interaction with the environment.
Dr. Feuda added, “This discovery will open new important avenues of research that will explain the origins of complex behaviors and whether the same neurons modulate reward, addiction, aggression, feeding, and sleep.”
Matthew Goulty et al, The monoaminergic system is a bilaterian innovation, Communication in Nature (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-39030-2
Provided by the University of Leicester
Citation: Genes for learning and memory are 650 million years old, study shows (2023, July 14) retrieved 14 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07 -genes-memory-million-years.html
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