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What Cephalopods Might Reveal About the Evolution of Cognition

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact John Mollon.

The host for this talk is Clive Wilkins

The soft-bodied cephalopods including octopus, cuttlefish, and squid possess a suite of cognitive attributes that are comparable to those found in vertebrates. Inspired by our previous work on the cognitive capacities of jays and other members of the corvid family such as ravens and New Caledonian crows (“feathered apes”), we have found evidence that cuttlefish, for example, remember the ‘what, where and when’ of past events, and that they exhibit self control as well as making future-oriented decisions such as eating less crab at lunchtime if their favourite shrimp are available for dinner. These findings will be discussed in terms of an evolutionary framework of why these invertebrates may have evolved such cognitive capacities, and the implications for our understanding of the evolution of cognition in general~ in humans and other animals.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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