Jennifer Mather, What is in an octopus's mind?


Science progresses by making contrasts, and the living world is a gold mine of contrasts. Often disciplines become victims by focusing on too narrow a slice of that diversity, leading to a myopic view of how nature works. The relationships between the brain and behavior have been intensively studied in vertebrates, especially mammals, and we have become complacent in our assumptions about how behavior is constructed. As the target article by Mather (2019) shows, the relationship between the brain and behavior in octopuses forces us to reevaluate some of those assumptions.

Author Biography

Sergio M. Pellis is a Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge whose primary research focus has been on the mechanisms and evolution of play behavior. A key finding has been that social play refines executive function skills by modifying the development of the prefrontal cortex. Website