Michael J Kuba

Michael J Kuba
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology | OIST

Msc, PhD

About

61
Publications
37,624
Reads
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1,538
Citations
Introduction
Study of behavior seeks to reveal how underlying brain organization and physiology permit an animal to adapt to its environment. In this regard, there are several areas where a cephalopod study can benefit a wider scientific community. They process the sensory world in a way that is very different from that of the vertebrate and crustacean species with whom they share an environment.
Additional affiliations
June 2016 - present
May 2014 - April 2016
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Position
  • Researcher
January 2009 - present
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Education
February 2002 - May 2004
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Exploration, Habituation and Play in Octopus vulgaris.

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Octopuses are intelligent, soft-bodied animals with keen senses that perform reliably in a variety of visual and tactile learning tasks. However, researchers have found them disappointing in that they consistently fail in operant tasks that require them to combine central nervous system reward information with visual and peripheral knowledge of the...
Article
Full-text available
Social learning is considered one of the hallmarks of cognition. Observers learn from demonstrators that a particular behavior pattern leads to a specific consequence or outcome, which may be either positive or negative. In the last few years, social learning has been studied in a variety of taxa including birds and bony fish. To date, there are fe...
Article
Traveling waves (from action potential propagation to swimming body motions or intestinal peristalsis) are ubiquitous phenomena in biological systems and yet are diverse in form, function, and mechanism. An interesting such phenomenon occurs in cephalopod skin, in the form of moving pigmentation patterns called “passing clouds” [1]. These dynamic p...
Article
Full-text available
Relatively little is known about cognition in turtles, and most studies have focused on aquatic animals. Almost nothing is known about the giant land tortoises. These are visual animals that travel large distances in the wild, interact with each other and with their environment, and live extremely long lives. Here, we show that Galapagos and Seyche...
Article
Octopuses are active predators with highly flexible bodies and rich behavioral repertoires]. They display advanced cognitive abilities, and the size of their large nervous system rivals that of many mammals. However, only one third of the neurons constitute the CNS, while the rest are located in an elaborate PNS, including eight arms, each containi...
Article
Full-text available
Coleoid cephalopods camouflage on timescales of seconds to match their visual surroundings. To date, studies of cephalopod camouflage-to-substrate have been focused primarily on benthic cuttlefish and octopus, because they are readily found sitting on the substrate. In contrast to benthic cephalopods, oval squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana species com...
Article
Full-text available
Due to their unique body, standard behavioral testing protocols are often hard to apply to octopuses. Our protocol enables controlled behavioral testing of the sensory systems in single arms while allowing observation of the arm motion. The protocol allows the researcher to exclude the sense of vision without surgical manipulation and selectively t...
Article
Octopuses inhabit almost all seas in the world. A new study on tropical species suggests that, as in vertebrates, folding in the brain and visual system might be linked to habitat and lifestyle.
Preprint
Full-text available
Octopus is an invertebrate belonging to the class of Cephalopoda. The body of an Octopus lacks any morphological joints and rigid parts. Their arms, skin and the complex nervous system are investigated by a several researchers all over the world. Octopuses are the object of inspiration for my scientists in different areas, including AI. Soft- and h...
Article
Full-text available
In their foraging behavior octopuses rely on arm search movements outside the visual field of the eyes. In these movements the environment is explored primarily by the suckers that line the entire length of the octopus arm. In this study, for the first time, we report the complete characterization of a light-sensing molecule, Ov-GRK1, in the sucker...
Article
Full-text available
Octopus cyanea has a wide range of natural distribution and is interesting for scientific research. However, unlike Octopus vulgaris, the species is poorly studied, and few data exist on best practices for keeping them. One of the most common reasons for losing octopuses in human care is their ability to escape from holding tanks. Adult Octopus cya...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Octopus is an invertebrate belonging to the class of Cephalopoda. The body of an Octopus lacks any morphological joints and rigid parts. Their arms, skin and the complex nervous system are investigated by a several researchers all over the world. Octopuses are the object of inspiration for my scientists in different areas, including AI. Soft- and h...
Article
Full-text available
Here we provide evidence that the fundamental basis of nervous communication is derived from a pressure pulse/soliton capable of computation with sufficient temporal precision to overcome any processing errors. Signalling and computing within the nervous system are complex and different phenomena. Action potentials are plastic and this makes the ac...
Article
The octopus is an active predator with a highly flexible body and a rich behavioral repertoire. It displays advanced cognitive abilities, and the size of its large nervous system rivals that of many mammals. However, only one third of the neurons comprise the CNS, while the rest are located in an elaborate PNS, including eight arms, each of which c...
Chapter
This 273-paged book outlines a number of the key dilemmas in animal welfare for today's, and tomorrow's, world. The issues discussed range from the welfare of hunted animals, to debates around intensive farming versus sustainability, and the effects of climate and environmental change. It explores the effects of fences on wild animals and human imp...
Article
Building on the recently published Octopus bimaculoides genome, a new study identifies an evolutionarily conserved neural mechanism for serotonergic regulation of social behaviors.
Article
Full-text available
Octopuses have large brains and exhibit complex behaviors, but relatively little is known about their cognitive abilities. Here we present data from a five-level learning and problemsolving experiment. Seven octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) were first trained to open an L shaped container to retrieve food (level 0). After learning the initial task all...
Data
This document contains the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines Checklist Richter et al. (DOCX)
Data
A SPSS.sav file containing the original data. (SAV)
Data
This document contains the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines Checklist (filled). (PDF)
Chapter
While fish have recently received a lot of attention in comparative cognition studies, studies on tool use in fish are still scarce (Balcombe 2016; Brown et al. 2011; Bshary and Brown 2014). A big principal problem when trying to manipulate objects in their environment is that fish are more limited in terms of body appendices they can use than most...
Chapter
Outgrowing their molluscan ancestors coleoid cephalopods have developed a remarkable complexity of behaviors and the underlying nervous system that controls them. Like in other phyla, such as teleost fish, cephalopods follow a trend for cephalization the concentration and evolution of a head holding acute sense organs an a highly concentrated centr...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is the result of an international initiative and is a first attempt to develop guidelines for the care and welfare of cephalopods (i.e. nautilus, cuttlefish, squid and octopus) following the inclusion of this Class of ∼700 known living invertebrate species in Directive 2010/63/EU. It aims to provide information for investigators, animal...
Article
Full-text available
The octopus is an interesting model for the development of soft robotics, for its high deformability, dexterity and rich behavioural repertoire. To investigate the principles of octopus dexterity, we designed an eight-arm soft robot and evaluated its performances with focused experiments. The OCTOPUS robot presented here is a completely soft robot,...
Article
Full-text available
The motor control of the eight highly flexible arms of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) has been the focus of several recent studies. Our study is the first to manage to introduce a physical constraint to an octopus arm and investigate the adaptability of stereotypical bend propagation in reaching movements and the pseudo-limb articulation dur...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the attachment mechanism of the octopus sucker has attracted the interest of scientists from different research areas, including biology, engineering, medicine and robotics. From a technological perspective, the main goal is to identify the underlying mechanisms involved in sucker attachment for use in the development of new genera...
Article
Full-text available
Cephalopods have been utilised in neuroscience research for more than 100 years particularly because of their phenotypic plasticity, complex and centralised nervous system, tractability for studies of learning and cellular mechanisms of memory (e.g. long-term potentiation) and anatomical features facilitating physiological studies (e.g. squid giant...
Article
In the literature, a reference terminology for labelling octopus arms exists, but a convention for the labelling of octopus suckers is so far lacking. The precise identification and subsequent ability to address a specific sucker is impossible without some type of convention. In this work, we propose an Octopus Sucker Identification Code, with thre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Arm swimming in the octopus is a mode of locomotion that is used by the animal primarily for hunting, defence, or escape. The motion, in general, is characterized by a fast closing of the arms and a slow opening of the arms, resulting in a considerable propulsive power. The movement has previously been discussed, however the detailed kinematics is...
Article
Full-text available
The octopus sucker represents a fascinating natural system performing adhesion on different terrains and substrates. Octopuses use suckers to anchor the body to the substrate or to grasp, investigate and manipulate objects, just to mention a few of their functions. Our study focuses on the morphology and adhesion mechanism of suckers in Octopus vul...
Data
3D Reconstructions of Octopus vulgaris suckers from histological sections and magnetic resonance images. (AVI)
Data
In vivo ultrasonographic recording of the adhesion process performed by Octopus vulgaris . (MP4)
Article
Full-text available
While clearly of molluscan ancestry, the coleoid cephalopods are emergent within the phylum for complexity of brain and behaviour. The brain does not just have centralization of the molluscan ganglia but also contains lobes with “higher order” functions such as storage of learned information, and centres have been compared with the vertebrate cereb...
Data
Full-text available
Studies of the daily activity patterns of Octopus vulgaris have shown varying activity in different habitats. This might stem from the octopus' ability to respond to influences such as predation pressure by adjusting its activity pattern. To test the hypothesis that a predatory threat could alter activity cycles, six octopuses were each held in a p...
Article
Full-text available
In order to improve the methodology for growing and maintaining corals in captivity, a consortium of European zoos, aquaria and academia executed a four-year public/private collaborative research and innovation project (CORALZOO) on the breeding and husbandry of stony corals. CORALZOO comprised the following topics: (1) sexual and asexual breeding...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, breakthroughs have been made in both biology and robotics by the close cooperation between biologists and roboticists. Researchers in the fields of octopus biological study and soft robotics can also benefit from working together and inspiring each other. However, this collaboration is not easy because of the different research mot...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep is a ubiquitous phenomenon, found in animals of many different phyla. While in the past sleep has been defined through studies on mammals and birds, it has recently appeared that invertebrates might show this behavioural state. The present behavioral study on sleep in Octopus vulgaris demonstrates its presence in a cognitively advanced invert...
Article
Full-text available
Testing the cognitive abilities of cartilaginous fishes is important in understanding the evolutionary origins of cognitive functions in higher vertebrates. We used five South American fresh water stingrays (Potamotrygon castexi) in a learning and problem-solving task. A tube test apparatus was developed to provide a simple but sophisticated proced...
Article
This study aims to investigate the octopus' eye and arm coordination and raises the question if visual guidance determines choice of arm use. Octopuses possess eight seemingly identical arms but have recently been reported to show a preference as to which arm they use to initiate contact with objects. These animals also exhibit lateralized eye use,...
Article
Full-text available
Studying play behavior in octopuses is an important step toward understanding the phylogenetic origins and function of play as well as the cognitive abilities of invertebrates. Fourteen Octopus vulgaris (7 subadults and 7 adults) were presented 2 Lego objects and 2 different food items on 7 consecutive days under 2 different levels of food deprivat...
Article
Full-text available
Octopus macropus and Octopus vulgaris have overlapping habitats and are exposed to similar temporal changes. Whereas the former species is described as nocturnal in the field, there are conflicting reports about the activity time of the latter one. To compare activity patterns, the authors tested both species in the laboratory. Octopuses were expos...
Article
Full-text available
Previous behavioral studies in Octopus vulgaris revealed lateralization of eye use. In this study, the authors expanded the scope to investigate arm preferences. The octopus's generalist hunting lifestyle and the structure of their arms suggest that these animals have no need to designate specific arms for specific tasks. However, octopuses also sh...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the huge numbers of studies published on the learning of cephalopod moliusks, studies on non-associative learning are scarce. We tested non-associative learning (habiluation) and exploration in Octopus vulgaris in iwo different studies using a prey-shaped object (Study A) and inanimate ob-jects and food objects (Study B). Study A consisted...
Article
Non-associative learning is one of the basic manifestations of behavioral flexibility. In order to document this behavioral trait in Octopus vulgaris, we tested the animal's habituation towards a repeatedly presented prey-like visual stimulus. A plastic model of a lobster was presented outside the tank for 15 times for 15 seconds at the beginning o...
Article
Behavioural lateralization has been demonstrated in many species of vertebrates, but there has been scarce evidence for it in invertebrates. We have previously documented lateral asymmetry of eye use in individual octopuses. In the present study we investigated lateralization at the population level. Octopus eyes are on the sides of the head, and t...
Article
The lateralization of sensory and motor functions has been recently demonstrated in various groups of vertebrates. We examined lateral asymmetry of eye use in Octopus vulgaris by behavioural methods. Octopus vulgaris uses monocular vision almost exclusively and can move its eyes independently. The amount of binocular vision is small because the eye...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
A few years ago I observed reef squid being approached by larger conspecifics from the pelagic area. While the group we observed always stayed in the place these individuals were larger and came to mate.

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Test vertebrates like fish and reptiles
Project
How did cognition evolve in invertebrates