Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, 2019 University of Massachusetts Amherst
Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris
When searching for an object, we store a mental representation of the target, which guides our search through the use of attention. The effectiveness of this search guidance varies depending on the task and the relationship between target and distractors. With a better understanding of how search guidance changes over time within a trial, we can better compare the differences between experimental conditions. Eye tracking data from a variety of search tasks were analyzed to determine how color guidance varied over the course of the trial. Color guidance for a given fixation was evaluated based on the distance in color ...
A Hybrid Cognitive Architecture With Primal Affect And Physiology, 2019 Bucknell University
A Hybrid Cognitive Architecture With Primal Affect And Physiology, Christopher L. Dancy
Faculty Journal Articles
Though computational cognitive architectures have been used to study several processes associated with human behavior, the study of integration of affect and emotion in these processes has been relatively sparse. Theory from affective science and affective neuroscience can be used to systematically integrate affect into cognitive architectures, particularly in areas where cognitive system behavior is known to be associated with physiological structure and behavior. I introduce a unified theory and model of human behavior that integrates physiology and primal affect with cognitive processes in a cognitive architecture. This new architecture gives a more tractable, mechanistic way to simulate affect-cognition interactions ...
The Octopus: A Beautiful (But Disorganized) “Mind”, 2019 Animal Studies Repository
The Octopus: A Beautiful (But Disorganized) “Mind”, Jon Mallatt
Mather (2019) presents convincing evidence that octopuses have minds, but in the first 85% of the target article, the evidence does not come through very clearly because it is hidden by other information and by problems with the paper’s organization. I propose ways to build a tighter argument in the author’s Response to the Commentaries.
Are Octopuses Special? Mind, Sociality And Life History, 2019 University of Stirling
Are Octopuses Special? Mind, Sociality And Life History, Phyllis C. Lee
Understanding the Umwelt or being-ness of an octopus is a fascinating problem. Mather’s review provides us with significant insights into the ways of living of non-humans that exploit a perceptual and physical world we can only guess at. Octopus “distributed minds” call into question our primate-based understandings of the importance of sociality and the pace of life in the evolution of complex perceptual and behavioural abilities.
Are Our Ideas About Octopus Life Too Anthropomorphic To Help?, 2019 Animal Studies Repository
Are Our Ideas About Octopus Life Too Anthropomorphic To Help?, Kenneth J. Aitken
Our understanding of the evolution and ontogeny of the octopus and its behavioral repertoire in its natural habitat remains rudimentary at best. There are many parallels, but also just as many differences from our models of human biology and ontogeny, making anthropocentric generalizations of limited use in explanation.
A Behavior-Analytic Approach To Understanding Octopus “Mind”, 2019 Monmouth University
A Behavior-Analytic Approach To Understanding Octopus “Mind”, Lindsay R. Mehrkam
Mather makes a convincing case for octopus sentience based on a lot of evidence of their complex learning capabilities. It should follow from Mather’s findings that these intelligent invertebrates are worthy of welfare considerations, just as vertebrate species with similar capabilities are. I provide a complementary environment-behavior analysis of how we might understand the world of the octopus more straightforwardly, borrowing from Mather’s examples, to show how to promote opportunities for complex learning and species-typical behaviors in the octopus.
Cephalopod Molluscs, Causal Models, And Curious Minds, 2019 Monash University
Cephalopod Molluscs, Causal Models, And Curious Minds, Andrew W. Corcoran
Mather (2019) presents a compelling case in favour of octopus mind. Surveying an impressive array of empirical literature, she identifies the creature’s playful, inquisitive behaviour as emblematic of a distinctively mental form of agency. I offer an alternative perspective in which curiosity and play are construed as constitutive processes in the emergence of the (predictive) mind.
Octopus Minds Must Lead To Octopus Ethics, 2019 College of William and Mary
Octopus Minds Must Lead To Octopus Ethics, Barbara J. King, Lori Marino
Mather argues convincingly for the existence of minds in octopuses based largely on laboratory experiments. Many of these experiments are highly invasive and involve mutilation and death. Moreover, octopuses are now being hailed as a “new model” for biological research and are being enthusiastically bred in captivity, both for research and for food. We argue that the compelling evidence for mind in octopuses must be accompanied by intense scrutiny of the ethics that shape how we treat them and that the intrinsic value of their individual lives must be recognized.
The Perfecting Of The Octopus, 2019 independent ethologist
The Perfecting Of The Octopus, Ila France Porcher
Cephalopods split away from the phylogenetic tree about half a billion years ago, and octopus evolution has been accelerated by an extremely low survival rate. This helps explain why this unusual animal presents qualities found in no other. It has a radially organized nervous system with a processing centre for each of its eight tentacles. Yet, although this might suggest that each tentacle has its own centre of consciousness, it remains just one animal, with one mouth to feed, and one life to lose, and it behaves as if it is centrally controlled. Its capacity for a range of intelligent ...
‘Mind’ Is An Ill-Defined Concept: Considerations For Future Cephalopod Research, 2019 University of Cambridge
‘Mind’ Is An Ill-Defined Concept: Considerations For Future Cephalopod Research, Alexandra Schnell, Giorgio Vallortigara
Scientific discussions about the ‘mind’ of an octopus are empirically vacuous and should be confined to folk psychology. This form of labelling is unhelpful for science and should be replaced by specific mechanistic accounts of behavior and associated neural structures, which are amenable to rigorous scientific investigation. Mather provides a detailed review of octopus behavior, but rather than making unquantifiable assumptions about what orchestrates octopus behavior, efforts should focus on investigating cognitive mechanisms that can be measured. In this commentary, we outline two lines of research that include quantifiable methods to facilitate a more robust understanding of cephalopod behaviors and ...
The Octopus Mind: Implications For Cognitive Science, 2019 Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research
The Octopus Mind: Implications For Cognitive Science, Sidney Carls-Diamante
Mather consolidates the case for octopus mind and how it may be structured, shifting the starting point of inquiry from “If octopuses had minds, what would they be like?” to “What is the mind of an octopus like?”.
Octopus Experience, 2019 University of Sydney, Australia
Octopus Experience, Peter Godfrey-Smith
The first part of this commentary attempts to get "inside" the octopus mind a little further than Mather does, drawing on her description of octopus cognition in many places but diverging in others. The second part outlines other disagreements with her account of the animals, especially in the area of social behavior.
The Octopus Mind And The Argument Against Farming It, 2019 New York University
The Octopus Mind And The Argument Against Farming It, Jennifer Jacquet, Becca Franks, Peter Godfrey-Smith
Mather is convincing about octopuses having ‘a controlling mind, motivated to gather information,’ but stops short of asking what having that mind means for octopus moral standing. One consequence of understanding the octopus mind should be a refusal to subject octopuses to mass production. Octopus farming is in an experimental phase and supported by various countries. We argue that it is unethical because of concerns about animal welfare as well as environmental impacts.
Octopus Sentience: Three Criteria, 2019 U.Q.A.M.
Octopus Sentience: Three Criteria, Alix Noël-Guéry
The first question to ask is whether octopuses are sentient, so that, if so, they can be protected. Three consensual criteria to evaluate animal sentience can be applied to the octopus. Octopuses meet all three of them.
Octopus: Multiple Minds Or Just A Slow Thinker?, 2019 Dalhousie University
Octopus: Multiple Minds Or Just A Slow Thinker?, Shelley A. Adamo
An octopus has more neurons in their peripheral nervous system (PNS) than in their brain. PNS neurons could participate in forming cognitive networks with the central brain in the same way that the cerebellum is now thought to contribute to mammalian cognition. However, cephalopods lack myelinated fibres, which might decrease the ability of the PNS to participate in cognitive networks. The lack of myelinated fibres may also select for a less integrated brain, with an increased emphasis on local information processing. Alternatively, integration may still occur across distant neural centers, but proceed more slowly in cephalopods than in mammals.
Just Preservation, 2019 University of Wisconsin-Madison
Just Preservation, Adrian Treves, Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila, William S. Lynn
We are failing to protect the biosphere. Novel views of conservation, preservation, and sustainability are surfacing in the wake of consensus about our failures to prevent extinction or slow climate change. We argue that the interests and well-being of non-humans, youth, and future generations of both human and non-human beings (futurity) have too long been ignored in consensus-based, anthropocentric conservation. Consensus-based stakeholder-driven processes disadvantage those absent or without a voice and allow current adult humans and narrow, exploitative interests to dominate decisions about the use of nature over its preservation for futurity of all life. We propose that authentically non-anthropocentric ...
Octopi-Ing A Unique Niche In Comparative Psychology, 2019 Oakland University
Octopi-Ing A Unique Niche In Comparative Psychology, Jennifer Vonk
Mather’s work has been fundamental in informing scientists of the relatively mysterious behavior and cognition of an understudied group of animals – the cephalopods. This work helps to fill a gap in the comparative literature that has historically sought evidence for complex behavior only in species that are closely related to humans or share important ecological features such as social complexity.
Octopus Umwelt Or Umwelten?, 2019 University of Central Florida
Octopus Umwelt Or Umwelten?, Luis H. Favela
Even if its intelligent behaviors are the product of decentralized control systems, Mather argues that the octopus has an “Umwelt,” and, thus, a mind. I argue that Umwelt does not provide a conceptual basis for understanding the octopus as having a mind. First, Umwelt does not refer only to an organism’s perceptual abilities. Second, in providing evidence for decentralized control systems that underlie intelligent behaviors, Mather makes a case against an octopus Umwelt. Instead, the octopus is more akin to a collection of systems, or Umwelten, than a single system with an Umwelt.
What Is Good For An Octopus?, 2019 Australian National University
What Is Good For An Octopus?, Heather Browning
Mather (2019) has brought together the current empirical research in support of the claim that octopuses possess minds; and the weight of the evidence does appear to support octopus sentience. Being sentient means an organism has welfare concerns, a subjective experience of life that can go well or poorly. Protecting welfare requires knowing what conditions will have a positive or negative impact. Understanding what is in the mind of an octopus will give us valuable insight into what is good for an octopus.
Sacrificial Lambs, 2019 University of Queensland, Australia
Sacrificial Lambs, Clive Phillips
Sheep evolved from the mouflon as mountain animals, able to escape predation by leaping between rock ledges. Their defense was their agility. Humans brought them to the plains, where the agility was less useful, but their lack of aggression, speed or weaponry against predators made them a prime target to become one of man’s meat providers. A perfect animal in many ways, with extraordinary perceptive powers and some remarkable cognitive skills, they are often treated with complete disregard for their welfare. Yet sheep themselves won’t tell us this, for a sheep that alerted others to its weakness really ...