Scientists have now recorded brain waves from freely moving octopuses

For the primary time, scientists have recorded mind waves from freely shifting octopuses. The information reveal some sudden patterns, although it’s too early to know how octopus brains control the animals’ behavior, researchers report February 23 in Present Biology.

“Traditionally, it’s been so exhausting to do any recordings from octopuses, even when they’re sedated,” says neuroscientist Robyn Criminal of San Francisco State College, who was not concerned within the research. “Even when their arms aren’t shifting, their complete physique could be very pliable,” making attaching recording gear tough.

Octopuses additionally are usually feisty and intelligent. Meaning they don’t often put up with the uncomfortable gear usually used to document mind waves in animals, says neuroethologist Tamar Gutnick of the College of Naples Federico II in Italy. 

To work round these obstacles, Gutnick and colleagues tailored moveable knowledge loggers usually used on birds, and surgically inserted the gadgets into three octopuses. The researchers additionally positioned recording electrodes inside areas of the octopus mind that take care of studying and reminiscence. The group then recorded the octopuses for 12 hours whereas the cephalopods went about their day by day lives — sleeping, swimming and self-grooming — in tanks.

Some mind wave patterns emerged throughout all three octopuses within the 12-hour interval. As an illustration, some waves resembled exercise within the  human hippocampus, which performs an important function in reminiscence consolidation. Different mind waves had been just like these controlling sleep-wake cycles in different animals.

The researchers additionally recorded some mind waves that they are saying have by no means been seen earlier than in any animal. The waves had been unusually sluggish, biking simply two per second, or 2 hertz. They had been additionally unusually sturdy, suggesting a excessive stage of synchronization between neurons. Typically only one electrode picked up the bizarre waves; different occasions, they confirmed up on electrodes positioned far aside,

Observing these patterns is thrilling, however it’s too early to inform whether or not they’re tied to a selected habits or kind of cognition, Gutnick says. Experiments with repetitive duties are needed to completely perceive how these mind areas are activated in octopuses throughout studying.

The brand new analysis is thrilling in that it supplies a way for future researchers to look at mind exercise in awake and naturally behaving octopuses, Criminal says. It could possibly be used to discover mind exercise behind the animals’ color-changing abilities, spectacular imaginative and prescient, sleep patterns and adept arm management (SN: 1/29/16; SN: 3/25/21).

Octopuses are very smart, so by learning the creatures “you may get concepts about what’s necessary for intelligence,” Gutnick says. “The issues that the animals face are the identical issues, however the options that they discover are generally comparable and generally totally different and all of those comparisons train us one thing.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *