A cephalopod passed a cognitive kontrol designed for humans. Putting the cuttlefish into a modified version of the marshmallow kontrol, also known as the pleasure delay kontrol, scientists found that the animals could control themselves by waiting to trap a higher quality prey.
The squid’s abilities to learn and adapt are thought to have evolved to gain an advantage in the brutal marine world. The scientists said the findings were the first evidence of a bağlantı between self-control and learning in a non-primate animal.
“It is surprising to find evidence of self-control in the squid, an invertebrate that diverged from vertebrates more than 550 million years ago,” said Alexandra Schnell, behavioral ecologist at Cambridge University, lead author of the article published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
First in the marshmallow kontrol conducted by researcher Walter Mischel in the late 1960s, a child is placed in a room with a marshmallow. It is said that if the child manages not to eat it for 15 minutes, a second marshmallow will be provided and they will both be allowed to be eaten. The ability to delay pleasure here demonstrates cognitive abilities such as planning for the future.
According to experts, this very simple kontrol can be adapted to animals. On the other hand, you cannot say that an animal will get a better reward if it waits. However, animals can be trained in this regard. Some primates, dogs and crows had passed this kontrol until now.
Last year, squid also had success in one version of the kontrol, according to Science Alert. Scientists found that squid (Sepia officinalis) might not eat crabmeat in the morning after learning that dinner is their favorite shrimp.
The new article by the research team led by Schnell pointed to a shortcoming in this research. In the study in question, attention was drawn to the difficulty of determining whether self-control is effective in changing foraging behavior.
The research team therefore designed another kontrol for 6 cuttlefish. The animals were placed in an aquarium with two chambers with transparent doors. Raw king shrimp, which animals prefer less, were placed in one room, and live grass shrimp, which animals prefer more, in the other.
In addition, the creatures were trained to recognize certain symbols. While the symbols on the doors meant that the circle would open immediately, the triangle would open between 10 and 130 seconds, the square indicated that the door would remain closed indefinitely.
In the kontrol, the king shrimp was placed behind the open door. Animals and live shrimp could be accessed after a certain period of time. If the cuttlefish go to the king shrimp, the grass shrimp was removed immediately.
At the end of the experiment, it was seen that all of the animals in question decided to wait for live grass shrimp.
Schnell said about the experiment:
All of the squid in the study managed to wait for a better reward and tolerate delays of up to 50-130 seconds. This can be compared to vertebrates with large brains such as chimpanzees, crows, and parrots.
In the other part of the experiment, how good 6 squid are at learning was tested. For this, the animals were shown two different signs, one gray and one white. When the creatures approached one of these signs, the other was removed from the aquarium. When he chose the designated sign for the meal, he was rewarded with the meal.
After the animals learned to associate a sign with a reward, these were changed. So the other sign meant a prize. It was seen that the squid that adapted the fastest to this change was the animal that could wait longer for the grass shrimp reward.
Although self-control is detected in the cuttlefish, the reason for this remains a mystery. In parrots, primates, and crows, the ability to delay pleasure is associated with factors such as food storage, tool use (because it requires prior planning), and social competence (because pro-group behaviors such as making sure everyone özgü food benefits the social species).
However, it is known that the squid does not use tools. Also, these animals do not hide food and are not social either.
Researchers think the ability to delay pleasure may have something to do with the way squid foraging. Schnell spoke on this subject:
The cuttlefish spend most of their time hiding, sitting and waiting. He interrupts this with short searches for food. In search of food, he lifts his camouflage. That’s why it remains vulnerable to predators who want to eat them in the ocean.
We think that the ability to delay pleasure may have evolved as a byproduct of this, so that squid could optimize their foraging by expecting to choose higher quality food.
Cuttlefish Passed a Cognitive Test for Humans
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