Squid can pass the famous psychological test of self-control, the “marshmallow test”.
In this case, a new study found that cephalopods were willing to refrain from eating because they knew that waiting would give them a better treat. It makes them the first known invertebrates to demonstrate the ability to exert self-control.
General squid (Sepia Officinalis) — With relatives of squid octopus — A sneaky hunter, an impressive camouflager that can quickly disappear into any environment. They are also terrifyingly clever. Previous studies have shown that they have good memories, learn the value of different types of prey, and can use past experience to predict where to find food.
However, prior to this study, it was unclear whether these creatures could also delay satisfaction.
Alex Schnell, a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Psychology and lead author, said: .. Not all animals share this trait, and previously Apes, With a crow Parrot, Living a long social life.
To see if cephalopods join the ranks, Schnell and her team have adopted the famous “Marshmallow Experiment” to appeal to squid. 1960s, Walter Michel Lead the experiment Test at Stanford University how discipline your kids are when presented with a good treat (or other treat such as cookies or pretzels) such as marshmallows and two options: one marshmallow now Eat or wait 15-20 minutes and get rewarded with two marshmallows.
In the current study, Schnell’s team replaced marshmallows with seafood munch after understanding what six nine-month-old (not yet fully adult) squids liked. After all, they all liked live grass shrimp the most, followed by king shrimp, followed by Asian coastal crabs at the end of the three.
Next, I set up a two-chamber device with a transparent sliding drawer. Behind one drawer I put my favorite meal (such as live grass shrimp) and behind the other drawer I put my less favorite meal (such as crabs on the Asian coast). The door was marked with a symbol that the squid learned to recognize: late opening (triangle) or immediate opening (circle).
The less-favored meal drawer was always opened immediately to the squid, while the other drawer opened late. In contrast, the door containing the treat did not open at all (square). As the squid approached one room, the researchers immediately removed the snacks in the other room.
A little mystery
Squid certainly chose to delay satisfaction in order to get a better meal if he knew that the door would open late. They were able to delay grabbing their snacks everywhere between 50 and 130 seconds. During this time, they usually sat at the bottom of the tank and watched two rewards, Schnell told Live Science in an email.
At times, she said, they would even move away from immediate (less preferred but currently available) options “as if distracting from the temptation of immediate rewards.” This same distraction technique used to be human, chimpanzee, jay, parrot, dog, She said.
“It’s a bit of a mystery why squid has evolved its ability to exert self-control,” Schnell said. “This discovery is an extreme example of convergent evolution. Squids have a much different evolutionary history than the more commonly studied apes, crows, and parrots, but share the same cognitive function. is.” ((Convergent evolution It occurs when different species evolve similar traits independently of each other. )
“Squid can tolerate delays in obtaining higher quality foods comparable to some cerebral vertebrates,” the authors wrote in a study. They include apes, parrots and crows. But the benefits of self-control over such social and long-lived animals are “clear,” Schnell said.
If these animals now resist temptation, they may have better results and live longer in the future. For example, these animals either wait for others to eat to strengthen social ties or stop hunting and foraging to give them time to make tools to optimize future hunting and foraging. She said it might be.
The benefits of squid are less obvious. “Squid isn’t long-lived, it’s not social, it doesn’t make or make tools,” Schnell said.
Researchers hypothesize that squid has evolved self-control as a by-product of camouflage, an unrelated property. To avoid being detected by predators, squids need to spend long hours of the day hiding and looking for food with only short breaks. “Therefore, perhaps self-control has evolved to optimize their foraging behavior and reduce their predator exposure,” she added.
Researchers also tested whether squid’s degree of self-control was associated with higher intelligence, in this case squid’s learning ability. To do this, they trained squid to associate rewards with various stimuli. Studies show that squids with more self-control (waiting longer to get their food) had better learning abilities.
To relate self-control to intelligence researchers, we need to study how cattlefish work in other cognitive tests such as spatial memory and object persistence. In other words, you need to understand that an object will continue to exist regardless of whether it is visible or not.
The findings were published in the journal on Tuesday (March 2nd). Bulletin of the Royal Society B..
Originally published in Live Science.
Squid shows self-control and passes “marshmallow experiment”
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