Experimental evidence for spatial learning in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Academic Article uri icon


  • Laboratory mazes were used to study spatial-learning capabilities in cuttlefish (Sepia offcinalis), using escape for reinforcement. In preliminary observations, cuttlefish in an artificial pond moved actively around the environment and appeared to learn about features of their environment. In laboratory experiments, cuttlefish exited a simple alley maze more quickly with experience and retained the learned information. Similar improvement was not found in open-field mazes or T mazes, perhaps because of motor problems. Cuttlefish learned to exit a maze that required them to find openings in a vertical wall. The wall maze was modified to an arena, and simultaneous discrimination learning and reversal learning were demonstrated. These experiments indicate that cuttlefish improve performance over serial reversals of a simultaneous, visual-spatial discrimination problem.

publication date

  • June 2003