Cuttlefish are far more intelligent than we give them credit for. In fact, a recent study conducted by Dr. Alex Schnell from the University of Cambridge, found that cuttlefish passed an adaptation of the'Marshmallow test', designed in the 1970s to test children's self-control. This study is an important piece in the evolutionary puzzle because cuttlefish (and cephalopod) brains are so different from vertebrate brains, and yet appear to support similar cognitive features, such as self-control.
The marshmallow test is a well-known piece of social science researcher used to determine a child's ability to delay gratification, which is said to indicate success later in life. A team revisited the 1972 Stanford experiment and found that it is not just the treat children care about, but also how authority figures view them. A group of preschool students were separated in two group, with one being told their teacher would find out how long they waited for a sweet and the other was told it was their classmates. Those in the'teacher condition' group were found to wait twice as long, suggesting that when children made the decision to hold back as a way to boost their reputation. The marshmallow test is a well-known piece of social science researcher used to determine a child's ability to delay gratification, which is said to indicate success later in life.
Scientists have put miniature 3D glasses on cuttlefish and played them movies to reveal how they decide the best distance from their prey before they attack. A University of Minnesota-led research team built an underwater theatre and equipped the cephalopods with 3D glasses. Cuttlefish viewing a movie of shrimp though 3D glasses properly positioned themselves to strike their prey using depth perception similar to humans – called stereopsis. Stereopsis, or binocular vision, is the perception of depth produced by the brain when it receives visual stimuli from both eyes in combination. Cuttlefish with only one eye to see the shrimp took longer to position themselves correctly – because they were unable to use stereopsis.