Do cephs sleep?

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by Octavarium, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Octavarium

    Octavarium Wonderpus Registered

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    I assume so because of their advanced brain, but I can't find out much on this issue. It appears my hummelincki goes to the same area every night after 12 and doesn't move at all or react to my finger (when blue LEDs are on until 12:30). Does anyone know about the sleeping habits of different cephs?
     
  2. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    'tis hard to say. I'm not sure anyone has done sleep studies on octopus. Certainly they seem to have a definite resting phase. Even in fish there is huge argument on whether or not they sleep, some say yes some say no. There is a lack of features in brain wave activity (such as REM sleep) that you would expect to see in a sleeping human.....but should we expect to see the same patterns in a creature that is so very different to us?
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Although ceph brains are very complex and can do impressive things, they are organized so differently from vertebrate brains I would be surprised if they had something exactly like sleep, and very curious about the similarities and differences. I certainly don't think that the argument about "advanced brains" needing sleep is necessarily valid: our last common ancestor was some precambrian thingie somewhere between a leech and a limpet, probably something worm-like... I doubt it needed to sleep, so sleep would have evolved separately... which would imply that it's somehow fundamental in advanced intelligence, whereas I think it's more likely that it's a quirk of the vertebrate nervous system... As Jean says, I'm not sure it's clear that fish (or amphibians, or even all reptiles) sleep-- this only lists mammals, and this has some comments on birds and mammals, but not reptiles, amphibians, and fish showing REM sleep signs (although they have a rather naive interpretation of birds descending from reptiles: my impression is that modern classifications have birds descending from dinosaurs having split off from the cold-blooded reptiles quite a bit earlier.)

    Anyway, as in the discussion of cephalopod consciousness it's very interesting to consider the similarities and differences in diverse animals with advanced brains, so if cephs are found to sleep in ways that correspond to mammal sleep, it would be very interesting to compare-and-contrast the elements that are similar and different: is sleep important for converting short-term memory to long-term memory? Is this necessary for any memory system based on nerves?
     
  4. Octavarium

    Octavarium Wonderpus Registered

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    Yeah this is very interesting, thanks for your input guys. I hope to hear more from others.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Without being able to define sleep, observation of inactive times will have to do. Both my Mercs and my Hummelincki sleep on a regular basis at regular times taking a pose and location different from their active time habits. The Mercs do not always choose the same place but do leave the open water for a sheltered environment and take the same position. The Hummelincki takes both the same place and position in his/her inactive state.
     
  6. Brown

    Brown Larval Mass Registered

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    We now have reasonably strong evidence (behavioural, attentional and electrical) that Octopus do a kind of sleep. See the paper

    Brown ER, et al 2006 Behav Brain Res.;172(2):355-9.

    Octopus vulgaris maintained under a 12/12h light/dark cycle exhibit a pronounced nocturnal activity pattern. Animals deprived of rest during the light period show a marked 'rebound' in activity in the following 24h. 'Active' octopuses attack faster than 'quiet' animals and brain activity recorded electrically intensifies during 'quiet' behaviour. Thus, in Octopus as in vertebrates, brain areas involved in memory or 'higher' processes exhibit 'off-line' activity during rest periods.

    If you would like a copy of this paper I can forward it

    E
     
  7. Octavarium

    Octavarium Wonderpus Registered

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    Id really appreciate that Brown if you can, Im only subscribed to Nature as far as scientific journals go. My email address is metallica85@comcast.net if you need. Thanks a lot.
     
  8. dreadhead

    dreadhead Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    If you could pm it to me that would be great.Thanks.
     
  9. nanoteuthis

    nanoteuthis Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Oh my -- had I done a keyword search before initiating the new To sleep, perchance to dream thread, I would've continued the discussion on this one instead! At any rate, this old thread is particularly helpful and relevant to my query, and if anyone is following it, please continue the discussion on the new thread.... this is a great subject!
     
  10. Decay

    Decay Blue Ring Registered

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    does anybody know how well, if at all, octopuses adjust to shift work? can they easily bounce around their inactive period and match the owner no matter what the routine, or to they need a period of adjustment? im not after any real scientific studies, just curious about wether anyone here works shifts, and how their animal coped.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Both my mercatoris' (nocturnal pygmy) and my hummelinckis (diurnal) showed signs of needing a routine. Their active period could be adjusted somewhat (more with the hummelincki) by altering the photo period but on more than one occassion I have seen my hummelinckis "go to bed" seconds before the lights went off. Additonally, when our red night light would turn white because of a power failure (the light has multiple color settings but the initial on is white light) Octane (hummelincki) would pace and act very nerveous after lights out until we discovered and corrected the problem (after several episodes we just removed the night light). My thinking is that you can establish a routine using lighting but continually trying to change it would be problematic and likely to stress the animal.
     
  12. KWAquaculture

    KWAquaculture Cuttlefish Registered

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    just thought i would add what i have observed

    our Giant cuttle Sepia apama often has 'off' days
    during these he will sit at the bottom and close his eyes (eye lid moves up from below as the eye lowers slightly)
    during this time i have noted him Flinch (tentacles and skin around the head) from time to time, colour and texture seem to stay reasonably constant during this time

    first thing that sprung to mind was "aww just like a sleeping dog dreaming of an adventure"


    Sorry for dragging old threads up from the depths
     
  13. Trent1

    Trent1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    This is interesting.

    As I mentioned in another thread - I saw two Octopuses today at an Aquarium, both of whom seemed to be in a state of deep rest when I first saw them.

    Both were a very pale 'yellow' at first, not entirely in synchronous camouflage with their surroundings. One 'woke up' (For wont of a better phrase!) but the other remained perfectly still, apart from breathing. Later, as we passed the tank on our way to the exit - Both had gone into hiding.

    From what I observed, I could reach no absolute conclusion as to whether or not they 'sleep' - In the human sense. But certainly, I saw an octopus in a state of deep rest, with little apparent self-concern (Otherwise the camouflage would have been more effective I think)

    When humans sleep, they are unaware of their surroundings, and are therefore disinhibited. For creatures (Octopuses) that are normally quite defensive, this resting behavior, and the lack of inhibition it included was certainly indicative of a form of sleep recognisible to humans.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you don't qualify sleep as a brain activity/memory transfer requirement (because we don't know what happens with an octopus in this regard) but as an at rest state where the animal is unaware of its surroundings, then I have observed sleep in all the octos I have kept. Touching one in this state will almost always get you an inking incident once it wakes up.
     
  15. Trent1

    Trent1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Samuel Pepys (Famous 17th Century Diarist) once ended an entry with the line:

    "And so to bed, perchance to dream."

    Humans certainly show differing brain-wavelength images during our various depths of sleep and dreaming.

    An Octopus doesn't? [[EDIT. Sorry - That's what I originally wrote - But I see that you said: we don't know what happens with an octopus in this regard. Sorry, again :P]]

    [[RE-EDIT. So rather than saying An Octopus doesn't? - I should have said We don't know if Octopuses do, or do not?]]

    There is, from your observations with your Octopuses - And mine with humans, a striking similarity however (Which you've clearly spotted! :P)

    Never wake ANYTHING up when it least expects it - Because all bets and inkings are off, if you do!

    It all rather leads to the question - Is sleep, and dreaming (in most animals) something which can only be determined or mapped electromagnetically - Or are the EM waves species/variant unique - And not conducive to a conclusion on sleep or 'dreaming'?

    In any case, have you (Or anyone else) got a copy of Cephalopod EM graphs during various states of agitation?
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am only a hobbiest so the clinical aspects are up to our biologists. Hopefully neurobadger will take some interest and have the opprotunity to experiment. Part of the problem with studying octopuses is the difficulty of attaching most anything. You might enjoy Robin's blog which can't yet give the results of the study but describes a study in squid and trying to devise blinders and analyze reactions.
     
  17. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    First I'll put up my usual disclaimer: I'm an undergrad, verify all this with the person who's been doing work on the subject already.

    I volunteered at an aquarium in the summer of 2010 and had the opportunity to observe their octopus twice a week. In addition, I have had the opportunity to observe the octopus at the nearby zoo.

    While I still have my misgivings about the conditions in which she was kept (there's a discussion elsewhere about cephalopod ethics that spawned from me mentioning this), my anecdotal observations are this:

    This octopus seemed to have varying levels of consciousness and alertness, often marked by the wideness or narrowness of her pupil. A larger pupil seemed to correlate with increased activity (as it does in vertebrates, certainly in mammals - it allows more light to be let in to the eye which allows for better visibility of surroundings). The keeper of the octopus at the aquarium did seem to notice cycles of activity where she was very difficult to rouse and stayed immobile in a corner.

    Combine this with the fact that circadian rhythms corresponding to sunlight are preserved across animal phyla, and indeed across organismal kingdoms, and I think there's probably a pretty good jumping point for figuring out whether octopuses sleep, although then there's another issue to contend with: do mollusk brains do the same things when they're asleep that vertebrate brains do?

    Regarding how to even measure it, Dr. Bernd Budelmann was kind enough to send me a whole packet of papers he'd produced when I inquired about them, and a lot of the methods for electrophysiology that are in use right now usually involve killing the animal afterwards.

    I'd ask robyn and gjbarord on here about this; they're both grad students doing neurobiological research on cephalopods (robyn is doing pain research on squid, and gjbarord is doing something or other on nautiluses. My particular research interest when it comes to cephalopods is on the more benthic critters - cuttlefish and octopuses).

    There are a lot of questions to answer.
     
  18. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Bernd Budelmann and JZ Young, I think, should be the first go-to resource on this.

    I can churn out a couple of quotes from the articles Dr. Budelmann sent me if requested.
     
  19. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    A more mundane concern, of course, is whether the Funding Powers That Be would fund a study like this. In this economy, I think getting funding for a project investigating whether cephalopods sleep would be a stretch, since study on vertebrate sleep is thriving.

    Much more likely to get funded is a project investigating some area of neurobiological research that even the vertebrate researchers don't know much about, in which research on cephalopods could serve as a useful comparative reference.

    You can always disguise it as something else. An example is intelligence research, which is one of my interests, and which is in fact such a pariah topic that people's lives have been threatened for researching it (for example, Bruce Lahn at the University of Chicago), usually for its unfortunate association with such nasty things as eugenics and racism, which is not due to intelligence research per se but due to the tendency of groups such as white supremacists to misinterpret the actual results of the research (which in the case of racists, for one, does not actually reflect what the racists want it to) for their own nefarious ends. People disguise it as Alzheimer's research.
     
  20. Trent1

    Trent1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Research in that area would be invaluable!

    Not only for curious Cephalopod Biophysicists - But Primate Biophysicists too!

    A comparison of EM graphs would show (I expect) marked differences between humans and octopuses - But also, distinct and important similarities. Those similarities would help to hone in on human brain disorders that are currently un-fathomable, if only because they're so fundamental.

    I mean, if we share an attribute with the octopus - Given the basic nature of our earliest common ancestor - Then it must be an extraordinarily big deal!

    I'm aware of the use of IQ determinants in eugenics research. You might be interested to note that a British pseudo-research poll suggested that the further 'right' on the political spectrum a person may be - The less intelligence they present!

    Basically ("Godwin's Law", forgive me!) The more of a 'Nazi' they are - The less of a functioning brain they have!

    I thought though, that research involving Alzheimer's Disease, had included a study of Octopus Neuroprocessor inhibitors?

    If so, what were the results? Or at least, the suggestions?(!)
     

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