Thinking Like an Octopus

If intelligence is related to the amount of neurons in a creature’s brains, some attention must be paid to how they are located in an octopus’s body. Most are not in its head but in its arms. Each tentacle has millions of them that it uses to help in f…

If intelligence is related to the amount of neurons in a creature’s brains, some attention must be paid to how they are located in an octopus’s body. Most are not in its head but in its arms. Each tentacle has millions of them that it uses to help in finding food but without the direct visual cues that go along with the eye-to-brain pathway. For an octopus, there are the usual experiments that measure a lab specimen’s IQ such as rats finding the shortest path to food in a maze or challenging a chimpanzee to place a round peg in a round hole, etc. Godfrey-Smith argues that it is much better to see an octopus’s intelligence in terms of its ability to reproduce itself in the ocean. More

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