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Multiple matrices in the memory system of Octopus
Young, J.Z. (1995). Multiple matrices in the memory system of Octopus, in: Abbott, N.J. et al. (Ed.) Cephalopod neurobiology: neuroscience studies in squid, octopus and cuttlefish. pp. 431-443
In: Abbott, N.J.; Williamson, R.; Maddock, L. (Ed.) (1995). Cephalopod neurobiology: neuroscience studies in squid, octopus and cuttlefish. Oxford University Press: London. ISBN 0-19-854790-0. 542 pp., more

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  • Young, J.Z.

    The systems in Octopus for visual and touch learning are distinct but have some overlap. In the visual system the impulses from groups of retinal receptors are passed through the optic lobes and then a series of four further matrices of intersecting axons. With appropriate synaptic changes these form associations between conjunctions of signals of visual events and their consequences, producing attack or retreat. The touch memory consists primarily of four matrices but the tactile impulses from the arms also have access to the visual centres so that no less than eight centres are involved. Injury to any of them reduces the accuracy of learned discriminations of rough and smooth objects. The arrangement of the matrices recalls that of the mammalian hippocampus and associated neocortical centres; there are recursive pathways that would re-inforce the conjunctions. These are therefore excellent examples of how memories of complex situations can be set up by passing impulses from numerous channels through a series of matrices. Such distributed degenerate and redundant systems provide the efficient memories allowing for generalization that are characteristic of complex nervous systems.

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