Octopus Brain and Human Brain Share Same “Jumping Genes;” New Study Identifies Important Molecular Analogy That Could Explain Remarkable Intelligence of These Invertebrates

The octopus is an exceptional organism with an extremely complex brain and cognitive abilities that are unique among invertebrates--so much so that in some ways it has more in common with vertebrates than with invertebrates. The neural and cognitive complexity of these animals could originate from a molecular analogy with the human brain, as discovered by research described in a paper published on May 18, 2022 in BMC Biology, and coordinated by Dr. Remo Sanges from SISSA of Trieste and by Dr. Graziano Fiorito from Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples. The research shows that the same “jumping genes” are active both in the human brain and in the brain of two species, Octopus vulgaris, the common octopus, and Octopus bimaculoides, the Californian octopus. This is a discovery that could aid understanding the secret of the intelligence of these fascinating organisms.

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