A study shows this for the first time ever. Octopus brain activity generates electrical waves similar to those of the human nervous system. This shows that octopuses have complex emotions.
Dreams. Deep and complex emotions. Vivid memories of past events. These are all processes that octopus brains can digest. A recent study published in Cell recorded for the first time hints of how the minds of these animals work.
Electrode implants were used in a controlled laboratory environment. The researchers succeeded in recording electrical waves in the brains of octopuses. They are very similar to nerve activity in humans. Everything was recorded in a series of recordings, which the researchers compared with the brain activity of other sentient mammals. This is what they found.
It’s no news that octopuses are intelligent and sentient. Last year, the United Kingdom discussed a law that contemplates these animals as sentient beings. Never before was it certain that their nervous activity allowed them to dream and have complex feelings. The study is by a team of researchers from the University of Naples (Italy). We know that octopuses camouflage themselves, create weapons and build their homes even with the garbage that pollutes the beaches. But their brains are difficult to analyze. They know how to remove their tracking devices if they are disturbed.
Still, the study authors devised a non-invasive technique, which allowed them to record the brain activity of these cephalopods. Tamar Gutnick, the lead author of the study, said that the brain activity of octopuses has patterns similar to those of mammals. Specifically, at the level of the hippocampus, the center of complex memory. “But we also observed unique patterns, 2-Hz activity, that were never reported in other animals. Octopuses have complex emotions.”
The researchers still don’t know exactly what these frequencies are for. They also found brain waves known to control sleep-wake cycles in other animals. “In vertebrates, this is the key. It allows us to find patterns in brain activity that help us understand how the brain coordinates behavior,” the specialist concludes.