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

Cuttlefish 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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