My Tech notes: New Research On Octopuses Sheds Light On Memory
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Friday, June 20, 2008

New Research On Octopuses Sheds Light On Memory

It is not completely understood how these two systems are interconnected, if at all. However, the organization in the octopus demonstrates a sophistication that was not described yet in other animals. In the octopus, the short-term and long-term systems are working in parallel, but not independently. This is so because the long-term memory area -- in addition to its capacity to store long-term memories -- also regulates the rate at which the short-term memory system acquires short-term memories. This regulatory mechanism is probably useful in cases where faster learning is significant for the octopus' survival in emergency or risky situations.
Research on octopuses has shed new light on how our brains store and recall memory,

Why octopuses?

Octopuses and other related creatures, known as cephalopods, are considered to be the most intelligent invertebrates because they have relatively large brains and they can be trained for various learning and memory tasks, says Dr. Hochner.

Their behavior repertoire and learning and memory abilities are even comparable in their complexity to those of advanced vertebrates. However, they are still invertebrate mollusks with brains that contain a much fewer number of nerve cells and much simpler anatomical organization than that of vertebrate brains. This unique constellation was utilized to tackle one of the most interesting questions in modern neuroscience, which is how the brain stores and recalls memories

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