From February 2014 to February 2015, I worked in collaboration with the Marine Biology Lab at Woods Hole, USA, to study the behavior of cuttlefish, an invertebrate marine animal related to octopus and squid. The experiments I conducted there are a part of a series of experiments in the Intelligent Systems Lab that ask animals of different species (rats, cuttlefish, humans) to solve open-ended movement challenges.
Video introduction to the experimental setup:
In this experiment, cuttlefish must hunt for their food 4 days out of 7; their prey is a piece of shrimp at the end of an arduino-controlled skewer. We wanted to ask the following questions:
Can cuttlefish hunt artificial prey? If so, how complex of an artificial prey can cuttlefish hunt?
Does the cuttlefish display a reliable sequence of body patterns when it first notices the prey?
Does the cuttlefish display a reliable sequence of body patterns when it catches its prey?
What are the firing dynamics of cuttlefish tentacles?
The most current draft of my experimental protocol.
Videos of the experimental sessions can be found online here: