Octopus talk

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by asid61, May 1, 2011.

  1. asid61

    asid61 GPO Registered

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    I have read about gorrilas and non-human primates "talking" through a sort of sign language; could octopuses do that?
    They probably don't live long enough to learn, but what about arctic octopus or GPOs?
    Has anyone done studies on this?
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think life span is the main issue. I'm don't think an octopus has enough intelligence to pick up language. They have no where near the intelligence of a gorilla. They are smart when compared to other invertebrates but when compared to all animals they don't have very high intelligence.
     
  3. asid61

    asid61 GPO Registered

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    :sad:
    Well, it would have been cool.
     
  4. Mike Bauer

    Mike Bauer Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I think octopus and cuttlefish both talk to you thought color chance, sure it is basic but they still do it.
     
  5. ckeiser

    ckeiser GPO Supporter

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    I wonder if anyone has tried to set up some associative learning with cephalopods. Anyone on here ever try to associate a certain behavior in their house ceph with a reward, or a response to some hand signal? This would be a start to one form of interspecific (ceph-human) communication. I do think, however, that life span would influence the success of such an endeavor.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have convingly work out "go away" signals with any of mine that would interact with my hand but I would not call that talking.
     
  7. ckeiser

    ckeiser GPO Supporter

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    I would consider that communication. Signaling is signaling, and what you're describing sounds like a functional transfer of meaningful information. However, I have a "broader" view of animal communication than most behaviorists.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am going to try to work out a more difficult signal with Diego (bimac). My other octos learned to use the simple ones within a day or two after they started interacting (I have always used something that they do naturally to avoid touch but make sure they see the cause and effect). This attempt will be far more difficult because I want to try color changes. Since I don't chase, he can go to his den anytime but I won't withdraw my hand unless he turns all brown. I am not even sure he can fully control this but it should be interesting.
     
  9. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Hold on a minute. The original question was can octopuses learn sign language,
    I fully agree that they attempt to communicate with us but the fact is we don't know exactly what they are saying and they have absolutely no idea what we are saying. so while I agree there is some communication going on, it is no where near sign language or talking. also I thing there us. Basic communication through behavior and speaking/signalling a specific language are completely different. That's my:twocents:
     
  10. ckeiser

    ckeiser GPO Supporter

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    D: Very cool, please keep us informed :)

    Dave: I think there are routes one must take to "work their way" up to sign language with another species. Obviously, we would have to take a different path when trying to teach a cephalopod as opposed to the aforementioned non-human primates that share our pentadactyl morphology.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am not sure if I am getting somewhere or it is just wishful thinking but I should be able to tell by the end of next week
     
  12. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

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    Karen Pryor, the inventor of the clicker, taught a hermit crab to ring a bell, so I see no reason why a ceph couldn't learn stuff. All you'd need was a signal, marker, and reward. I can't find the story online but it's in the first chapter of 'Don't Shoot the Dog' and there's enough info in there to recreate the experiment, might be worth getting a copy from a library.
     
  13. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    There is a rich 100 year history of researchers such as Young, Wells and Boycott studying learning and discrimination in octopus. Everything from sensitization and habituation to associative and spatial learning has been examined. However, nothing approaching the use of sign language or other forms of "talking" has been demonstrated.

    Roy
     

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