The Strange Similarity Between Octopus and Human Brains

Every study on octopuses illuminates the mystery of these creatures’ almost natural skills. One of these abilities is that they can change color instantly depending on where they are and camouflage in a near-perfect form. In addition, octopuses do not forget easily.

Observations and findings show that the brains of these creatures are among the most interesting structures in nature. Now, a research has been done on the genes called “jump gene” or “transposon” in both human and octopus genomes.

There are genes responsible for cognitive abilities in octopus and human brains!

According to scientists, transposon genes, which play a valuable role in the evolutionary process, are quickly found in almost every living thing. However, the function and mission of this gene or its reflection on the phenotype changes according to the structure of the living thing. For example, brown spots on corn kernels are the result of this gene.

According to the findings, the part responsible for cognitive abilities in the octopus brain has a position similar to that in the human brain, physically. However, the only common point in the cognitive abilities of these two creatures is not limited to this. Transposon genes called LINE sequences, which were previously detected in the human genome, were also found in the octopus brain.

So what does this mean?

“The brain structure involved in learning and cognitive abilities in the octopus is just like the hippocampus in humans,” says Biologist Giovanna Ponte on the team that conducted the research. The hippocampus in humans is directly related to learning, cognitive abilities and memory. This part of the brain, which is like a pair of kidneys in the middle of the brain, is famous for its physical resemblance to a sea horse.

On the other hand, the results of this research provide evidence that transposon genes play a valuable role in cognitive abilities as well as their mission of “copying and pasting DNA in a particular system”. “The brains of octopuses are similar to mammals in many functions,” reminds Biologist Graziano Fiorito of the research group. However, the fact that octopuses are invertebrates rather than breasted makes the results even more different.

The brains that make octopuses one of the smartest animals in nature seem to continue to surprise us. You can reach the research on the subject of theology through BMC Biology magazine.