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For the first time, scientists are recording brain waves from octopuses that have been released into a tank

The researchers were able to insert an electrode into an area of ​​the octopus’s brain associated with visual learning and memory

Carolina Fiorati

1 hour ago

For the first time, scientists are recording brain waves from octopuses that have been released into a tank

Photo: Kesho Asada/Playback

Octopuses are beyond exotic animals. They have a unique body and highly advanced cognitive abilities, which they developed differently from vertebrates.

In addition, these animals have large brains, which makes them ideal for study. There’s just one problem: putting electrodes into the brains of these creatures is no easy feat. Its long claws reach any part of its body, and it can easily pull wires.


With that in mind, a team made up of scientists from different international institutions decided device development able to enter into the octopus’s brain. The piece was not created from scratch, rather it was adapted from another brain tracker that was applied to birds to analyze their flight.

The new prototype should have water resistance and batteries capable of operating in a low air environment. So the scientists tested the tracker on an octopus species Celestial octopus.

Three animals were anesthetized and electrodes were implanted in the region of the cephalic lobe and the superior medial frontal lobe. This part of the brain is easy to access and also appears to be associated with visual learning and memory, which is also attracting the attention of researchers.


The octopus was returned to the tank and observed for 12 hours. In addition to the electrodes, the animals were also recorded throughout. Thus, individuals were recorded sleeping, eating, and moving around in space. The full study has been published in the scientific journal Current Biology.

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Several distinct patterns of brain activity were identified, some of which were similar in size and shape to those seen in mammals. On the other hand, other oscillations were slow and prolonged that had not been described before.


The team has not yet linked the patterns of brain activity to the behavior of the animal seen in the video. In any case, scientists now have the technology to make such observations and discover details about these animals.