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dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Lloyd
dc.contributor.advisorMercer, Alison
dc.contributor.authorShorser, Lauren
dc.identifier.citationShorser, L. (2011). Alien Minds: Evidence of intelligence in coleoid cephalopods (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractCephalopods are a group of animals that are becoming increasingly popular subjects for cognitive studies, but they are not well-known for their intelligence outisde the scientific world. A literature review was conducted to determine what “intelligence” is, and to what extent the scientific literature supports the idea of cephalopods being intelligent animals. A definition of intelligence as an animal’s degree of mental and behavioural flexibility was established based on a review of existing definitions, and possible driving forces behind the evolution of cephalopod intelligence were discussed. A review of the evidence for cephalopod intelligence was conducted; topics investigated included learning, problem-solving, decision-making, communication, play behaviour, personalities, tool-use, mirror self-recognition, and neural properties. Cephalopods were found to be intelligent beings by virtue of their learning, problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Other areas of investigation, such as play and personality, were suggestive of intelligence but were not conclusive. The information from the literature review was then used to write a non-fiction book on the topic of cephalopod intelligence aimed at a lay adult audience. The book combined studies from the literature review with personal anecdotes and experiences to both educate and entertain the reader.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectcephalopod intelligence
dc.subjectanimal intelligence
dc.subjectmirror self-recognition
dc.subjectcephalopod learning
dc.subjectanimal personality
dc.subjectcephalopod personality
dc.subjectcephalopod communication
dc.subjectcephalopod problem-solving
dc.subjectanimal problem-solving
dc.subjectcephalopod play
dc.subjectanimal play
dc.subjectcephalopod decision-making
dc.subjectoctopus decision-making
dc.subjectoctopus personality
dc.subjectsquid personality
dc.subjectoctopus play
dc.subjectcephalopod cognition
dc.subjectoctopus cognition
dc.subjectcephalopod sleep
dc.subjectoctopus brain
dc.subjectcephalopod brain
dc.titleAlien Minds: Evidence of intelligence in coleoid cephalopods
dc.typeThesis of Science Communication of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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