If you were to imagine a cockroach inside your brain, you’d likely be alarmed. These creatures dig holes and puncture blood vessels, which can lead to hemorrhaging, infection, and possibly even death. The adult skull is only 0.8 centimeters wide, and a cockroach would have to cross the tympanic membrane and chew through it to enter.
In the following case, a woman went to the hospital complaining of pain in her head. She told doctors that she woke up one morning with a crawling sensation in one nostril. It was later discovered that the cockroach was actually living inside her skull, near her brain. In fact, the cockroach was squirming as the doctors removed it.
Cockroaches do not have the same structure as mammalian brains, and their brains are made of many different types of neurons. Mizunami’s team is studying the cockroach brain in order to find the neuron that’s responsible for learning.
Cockroaches have a primary brain that mirrors the size of a pinhead. The cockroach brain also has a mushroom-shaped body, which processes sensory information. This brain structure is different from that of a human, as cockroaches’ ganglia clusters are small and wide, making them able to interpret information from all over the body.
Cockroaches learn differently at different times of the day. Their learning abilities are stronger in the evening and lower in the morning. They also retain evening lessons better than those learned in the morning. Cockroaches have basic emotions, which are chemical responses to stimuli. Though only certain creatures are capable of experiencing complex emotions, all creatures will experience basic feelings.