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Cephalopod Cognition

  • Explores the dynamic field of comparative cognition in cephalopods, extending the traditionally mammalian field into the realm of complex invertebrates
  • Learning, cognitive development and memory acquisition are covered on behavioural and neurological levels, in both the fossil-like nautilus and the lively coleoids (octopus, cuttlefish and squid)
  • Essays by leading experts cover some of the most intriguing environmental responses, from camouflage tactics in octopuses and cuttlefish and bioluminescence in deep-sea cephalopods

By: Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq(Editor), Ludovic Dickel(Editor), Jennifer A Mather(Editor)

263 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 65 b/w photos and illustrations, 7 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jul 2014 | #211072 | ISBN-13: 9781107015562
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $120/€102 approx

About this book

Cephalopods are generally regarded as the most intelligent group among the invertebrates. Despite their popularity, relatively little is known about the range and function of their cognitive abilities. Cephalopod Cognition fills that gap, accentuating the varied and fascinating aspects of cognition across the group. Starting with the brain, learning and memory, Part I looks at early learning, memory acquisition and cognitive development in modern cephalopods. An analysis of the chambered nautilus, a living fossil, is included, providing insight into the evolution of behavioural complexity. Part II surveys environmental responses, especially within the active and learning-dependent coleoids. The ever-intriguing camouflage abilities of octopus and cuttlefish are highlighted, alongside bioluminescence, navigation and other aspects of visual and cognitive competence. Covering the range of cognitive function, this text underscores the importance of the cephalopods within the field of comparative cognition generally. It will be highly valuable for researchers, graduates and senior undergraduate students.

"[...] well worth the cover price [...]"
– Stephen Hoskins, The Biologist


List of contributors
Tribute to Martin J. Wells

Part I. Cognition, Brain and Evolution
1. Cuttlefish preschool or how to learn in the perihatching period Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Christelle Jozet-Alves, Cecile Bellanger and Ludovic Dickel
2. Evolution of behavioral and neural complexity: learning and memory in chambered nautilus Jennifer Basil and Robyn Crook
3. Learning from play in octopus Michael J. Kuba, Tamar Gutnick and Gordon M. Burghardt
4. The neurophysiological basis of learning and memory in an advanced invertebrate - the octopus Binyamin Hochner and Tal Shomrat
5. The octopus with two brains: how are distributed and central representations integrated in the octopus central nervous system? Frank W. Grasso

Part II. Cognition and the Environment
6. Foraging and cognitive competence in octopuses Jennifer A. Mather, Tatiana S. Leite, Roland C. Anderson and James B. Wood
7. Navigation in cephalopods Christelle Jozet-Alves, Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq and Jean Geary Boal
8. Camouflage in benthic cephalopods - what does it teach us? Noam Josef and Nadav Shashar
9. Cuttlefish camouflage: vision and cognition Sarah Zylinski and Daniel Osorio
10. Visual cognition in deep-sea cephalopods: what we don't know and why we don't know it Sarah Zylinski and Sonke Johnsen


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Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq is a researcher in the Group Memory and Behavioural Plasticity Unit at Caen University in France. She studies embryonic cognition and early learning systems in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis and lectures in ethology at graduate and undergraduate levels.

Ludovic Dickel is Professor of Behavioural Biology at Caen University, managing the Group Memory and Behavioural Plasticity Unit. His research interests are focused on brain development and cognition in cuttlefish as well as collaborative work on embryonic neuroethology in oviparous species.

Jennifer Mather is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. She is active in researching many aspects of cephalopod cognition and behaviour, especially in octopuses, including groundbreaking work in personality, play and consciousness.

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