|FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022Octopuses have a unique mental structure.|
It’s been said that each of these clever cephalopods’ eight arms has a mind of its own. But it may be more accurate to say every sucker has its own brain, Dominic Sivitilli, a behavioral neuroscientist and astrobiologist, told NOVA in 2019. Octopuses use their arms for many things—swimming, hunting, and sometimes even throwing shells at other octopuses—but how these animals control their eight limbs individually has always been mysterious.
In 2019, a team of researchers set out to track how octopus arms “think” by filming captive octopuses as they explored new objects in their enclosures. With the footage in hand, the researchers used a computer algorithm to determine if the arms were working together, which would suggest central direction from the brain, or independently, which would suggest the arms were making decisions on their own. Here’s what they found:
|NATURETHINKING IS FOR SUCKERS, BUT IF YOU’RE AN OCTOPUS, SUCKERS ARE FOR THINKING|
Octopuses “think” with neurons so distributed throughout their bodies that sometimes the left hand literally doesn’t know what the…left hand is doing. (from 2019)