Cuttlefish found to have similar self-control abilities to humans

Link between delayed gratification and intelligence is not found in many animals, finds Sam Hancock

Wednesday 03 March 2021 10:18
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Cuttlefish belong to the class Cephalopoda which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses
Cuttlefish belong to the class Cephalopoda which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses
C

uttlefish are fast learners and can exercise self-control in the same way large-brained animals, such as parrots and crows, can, according to new research.

The study – published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B – saw scientists use an adapted version of the Stanford marshmallow test to test if cuttlefish were able to wait for a better meal rather than take food immediately in front of them.

In the Stanford test, children are given the choice to receive one marshmallow right away or wait for a period of time and receive two marshmallows instead. The experiment was picked up on the social media app TikTok last year – prompting a string of celebrities to film themselves leaving the room, instructing their children to wait to eat their food until they returned.

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