The freshwater fish Girardinus falcatus is able to perform several operations simultaneously, thanks to the "asymmetric" or lateralized brain, that is divided into two hemispheres, right and left, deputed to different activities.

Some scientists from the University of Padua have noticed that they put some small fish with lateralized brain and others without this characteristic (both specially selected in the laboratory for the experiment) in a tank with tasty shrimps and a dangerous predatory fish.

Those with asymmetric brains were able to eat and escape the predator in a double percentage compared to others who probably could not do two things at the same time: to see (and capture) the "lunch" with one eye and keep the predator with the other.

The asymmetric or lateralized brain, therefore, may not be a distinctive element only of human beings - who use the left hemisphere for logic and language the right one for other more emotional activities, such as the perception of music - but a shared characteristic with other vertebrates.

Photo: © Marco D'Adda - University of Padua