Lab Notes

Short stories and links shared by the scientists in our community

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?

Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots

Can Integrated Information Theory Explain Consciousness?

A radical new solution to the mind–body problem poses problems of its own

Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking

How Julian Jaynes’ famous 1970s theory is faring in the neuroscience age.

Male cuttlefish filmed fighting over a female for the first time

Researchers have previously witnessed this behavior in the lab, but this is the first time it's been caught in the wild.

How cuttlefish fight

There's a growing body of evidence that cuttlefish are smart enough to assess the relative strength of their opponents to gauge their odds before fighting. They modify their behaviors – including their skin patterns – accordingly.

In changing oceans, cephalopods are booming

Cephalopods are known for rapid growth, short lifespans, and extra-sensitive physiologies, which may allow them to adapt more quickly than many other marine species.

You're Not Hallucinating. That's Just Squid Skin.

Octopuses and cuttlefish are masters of underwater camouflage, blending in seamlessly against a rock or coral. But squid have to hide in the open ocean, mimicking the subtle interplay of light, water, and waves. How do they do it?

Scientists capture video of dolphins risking death to eat octopus

Zombie. Tentacles.

Octopuses Do Something Really Strange to Their Genes

"Humans don’t have this. Monkeys don’t. Nothing has this except the coleoids.”

Squid Communicate With a Secret, Skin-Powered Alphabet

"Their body plan is so bizarre compared to ours that it’s hard to compare their brain structure and function to something that we know."