Octopus nervous system


The nervous system of the octopus Eledone cirrhosa

Octopuses and other cephalopods are well-known for their exceptional intelligence and complex brains, which appear to outstrip all other invertebrates’. But, they work within one strange constraint – like all other mollusks (snails, slugs, oysters and more), the nerve ring at the center of their nervous system encircles the esophagus. In cephalopods, this nerve ring has become enlarged and organized to form their advanced brain, meaning that everything they eat must pass through the brain.

The application underneath is still a work in progress, I am working on the additional nerves, but it already shows the complexity of the brain and nervous system.

Most of the work seen here is based on the work of J. Z. Young “The anatomy of the nervous system of Octopus vulgaris” and where applicable adjusted for Eledone cirrhosa.

The nervous system of Eledone cirrhosa

Further reading: the references

Young, John Zachary.
"The optic lobes of Octopus vulgaris."
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 245.718 (1962): 19-58.

Bu, Adrian, Dieter Froesch, and Katharina Mangold.
"On the motor projection of the stellate ganglion inOctopus vulgaris."
Brain research 88.1 (1975): 69-72.

Young, J. Z.
"The number and sizes of nerve cells in Octopus."
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. Vol. 140. No. 2. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 1963.

Young, John Zachary.
"Anatomy of the Nervous System of Octopus vulgaris."

Budelmann, Bernd Ulrich, and John Zachary Young.
"Central pathways of the nerves of the arms and mantle of Octopus."
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences 310.1143 (1985): 109-122.

Froesch, Dieter.
"The subpedunculate lobe of the octopus brain: evidence for dual function."
Brain research 75.2 (1974): 277-285.

Jung, Seung-Hyun, et al.
"A Brain Atlas of the Long Arm Octopus, Octopus minor."
Experimental neurobiology 27.4 (2018): 257-266.