Pond Snail Programmed To Be Left Or Right ‘Handed’

Posted on 13 Nov 2008

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081111203507A third-year undergraduate student at The University of Nottingham has had her research into the sex life of the pond snail published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study by Hayley Frend, who is a student in the School of Biology, was published November 11 in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.

The young researcher has shown that just like humans the pond snail is genetically programmed to use the left or right handed side of its brain to perform different tasks.

In the past it was naively presumed that only humans use different sides of their brains to carry out different tasks. Research has since shown that some vertebrates, such as fish, can use their brains in this way. And recently it has been shown that behavioural handedness is not just confined to vertebrates.

Hayley spent the summer in the laboratories at the Institute of Genetics studying the sex life and genetics of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. She has established that just like humans, snails also tend to have brains that produce ‘handed’ behaviour. … – scidaily

About the only thing that is unique to humans in the animal kingdom is our belief that some things are unique to humans.

Posted in: Biology