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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Jun 9;192(2):117-20.

Lesions of the vertical lobe impair visual discrimination learning by observation in Octopus vulgaris.

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Laboratorio di Neurobiologia, Stazione Zoologica A. Dohrn di Napoli, Italy.


We investigated whether lesions of the vertical lobe of the supraesophageal nervous mass of Octopus vulgaris impair discrimination learning acquired by observation of conspecific behavior. When tested alone, observer octopuses with about 50% of the vertical lobe removed showed a deficit in their learning by observation performance. The level of learning improved 24 h after the observational phase, when observer Octopus vulgaris showed a visual discriminatory performance significantly in agreement with the observed one. Control animals that had no brain tissue removed, did not show any impairment in the discriminative performance they had acquired vicariously. Removal of the vertical lobe of the octopus 'brain' has been reported to induce learning and memory deficits of visual discrimination in direct learning by conditioning experiments. Our findings support the conclusion that the removal of such brain center impairs short-term recall, but does not impair acquisition nor retention of 'observational' long-term memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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