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  • What could octopuses possibly have in common with us?


  • After all, they don't have lungs, spines, or even a plural noun we can all agree on.


  • But what they do have is the ability to solve puzzles, learn through observation, and even use tools, just like some other animals we know.

    但牠們卻具有解開謎題、透過觀察來學習, 甚至是使用工具的能力, 就像其他我們所熟悉的動物一樣

  • And what makes octopus intelligence so amazing is that it comes from a biological structure completely different from ours.


  • The 200 or so species of octopuses are mollusks belonging to the order cephalopoda, Greek for head-feet.

    約有兩百多種的章魚被歸類在頭足綱 (Cephalopoda 一詞源自希臘文的頭與腳) 下的軟體動物

  • Those heads contain impressively large brains, with a brain to body ratio similar to that of other intelligent animals, and a complex nervous system with about as many neurons as that of a dog.

    牠們的頭部內有著令人印象深刻的巨大大腦,牠們大腦與身體的比例和其他智慧動物差不多, 並具有與一隻狗差不多的複雜神經系統

  • But instead of being centralized in the brain, these 500 million neurons are spread out in a network of interconnected ganglia organized into three basic structures.


  • The central brain only contains about 10% of the neurons, while the two huge optic lobes contain about 30%.

    中央大腦只包含大約 10% 的神經元,而其他兩個巨大的視葉則囊括了 30%

  • The other 60% are in the tentacles, which for humans would be like our arms having minds of their own.

    剩下的 60% 都包含在觸手當中,以人類來比喻就好像手臂具有自己的心智一般

  • This is where things get even more interesting.


  • Vertebrates like us have a rigid skeleton to support our bodies, with joints that allow us to move.


  • But not all types of movement are allowed.


  • You can't bend your knee backwards, or bend your forearm in the middle, for example.


  • Cephalopods, on the other hand, have no bones at all, allowing them to bend their limbs at any point and in any direction.


  • So shaping their tentacles into any one of the virtually limitless number of possible arrangements is unlike anything we are used to.


  • Consider a simple task, like grabbing and eating an apple.


  • The human brain contains a neurological map of our body.


  • When you see the apple, your brain's motor center activates the appropriate muscles, allowing you to reach out with your arm, grab it with your hand, bend your elbow joint, and bring it to your mouth.

    當你看見蘋果後,大腦中運動中心便啟動適當的肌肉群, 讓你的手臂可以拿到那些蘋果、 用手掌把蘋果抓起來、 彎曲你的肘關節,然後和把蘋果放入你的嘴中

  • For an octopus, the process is quite different.


  • Rather than a body map, the cephalopod brain has a behavior library.


  • So when an octopus sees food, its brain doesn't activate a specific body part, but rather a behavioral response to grab.

    所以當一隻章魚看見了食物,牠的大腦並不會運作身體的某個特定部位, 而是進行一套行為上的抓取回應動作。

  • As the signal travels through the network, the arm neurons pick up the message and jump into action to command the movement.


  • As soon as the arm touches the food, a muscle activation wave travels all the way through the arm to its base, while the arm sends back another wave from the base to the tip.

    一旦手臂碰觸到食物,一個肌肉啟動訊號波會傳到手臂的根部, 而手臂則會從根部回傳另一個訊號到端部。

  • The signals meet halfway between the food and the base of the arm, letting it know to bend at that spot.


  • What all this means is that each of an octopus's eight arms can essentially think for itself.


  • This gives it amazing flexibility and creativity when facing a new situation or problem, whether it's opening a bottle to reach food, escaping through a maze, moving around in a new environment, changing the texture and the color of its skin to blend into the scenery, or even mimicking other creatures to scare away enemies.

    這讓牠們在面對新的狀況和問題時能運用驚人的應變性和創造力,不論是要打開一個瓶子以拿到食物、 逃脫迷宮、 在新環境中遊走、 改變自己皮膚上的紋理和顏色以隱沒入周遭的環境當中, 或者甚至模仿其他生物來嚇走敵人等等。

  • Cephalopods may have evolved complex brains long before our vertebrate relatives.


  • And octopus intelligence isn't just useful for octopuses.


  • Their radically different nervous system and autonomously thinking appendages have inspired new research in developing flexible robots made of soft materials.


  • And studying how intelligence can arise along such a divergent evolutionary path can help us understand more about intelligence and consciousness in general.


  • Who knows what other forms of intelligent life are possible, or how they process the world around them.


What could octopuses possibly have in common with us?


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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 章魚 手臂 大腦 神經元 彎曲

【TED-Ed】為什麼章魚大腦是如此的不凡!(Cláudio L. Guerra (Why the octopus brain is so extraordinary - Cláudio L. Guerra)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 21 日