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News Picks : Octopuses’ simple nervous system controls complex movements

By: Physics Today
18 November 2013
Nature: Scientists have known for more than a decade that the arms of the common octopus, or Octopus vulgaris, are very flexible and move independently of one another. To push itself along, an octopus uses worm-like contractions in its eight limbs. At last week’s annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, Guy Levy and coworkers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem reported that the animals can also rotate their bodies independently of their overall direction of movement. Octopuses appear to slither around in all directions, but more study is needed to determine definitively whether they completely lack a centralized coordination system. Levy became interested in octopus movement while working to develop a flexible robotic arm.


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