• Question: Are the C elegans worms conscious?

    Asked by kattypuss to Serena, Sara, Samantha, Penny, Lynne, Karolina, Hayley, Alison on 6 Jan 2014.
    • Photo: Karolina Chocian

      Karolina Chocian answered on 6 Jan 2014:

      That depends what you mean by conscious.
      They do not have a brain, so if you mean conscious in a more human/vertebrate sense then not.
      BUT they do have neurons (that are very well mapped actually) and they can detect things like physical pressure (for example from a platinum wire we sometimes probe them with) – they run away from it.
      They can detect humidity and food sources.
      The discussion about a pain sensation in invertebrates is still ongoing, you can read some here:

      (yay wikipedia!)

      I know it’s not much but hopefully my fellow worm-friends will be able to help:)