Visual cognition in octopods

In a series of experiments we want to analyse the visual cognitive abilities of octopods. At the moment we are conducting experiments on reversal learning and matching-to-sample. The data obtained shall help to form a solid experimental basis of the cognitive abilities that are both rumoured to be extraordinary. High cognitive abilities might be important for octopods in their short life span within which they even undergo a large change from a pelagic to a benthic life.

The video shows an octopus performing in a visual matching task. The task of the animal is to choose the comparison stimulus on the outer position which matches the sample in the middle. In this trial the octopus chooses correctly and is rewarded with a piece of crab.