How cuttlefish wear their thoughts on their skin

A new technique is allowing researchers to study the inner workings of the cuttlefish brain by tracking colour changing cells in their skin.

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Studying the neural basis of perception is tricky, but what if the output of that neural activity were on display? That, says Sam Reiter and his team from The Max-Planck Institute for Brain research, is precisely what cuttlefish do. Cuttlefish have the ability to alter their appearance using finely controlled colour-changing cells in their skin. These cells are directly controlled by neurons extending from the brain. The team monitored changes in the state of the colour-changing cells with high-resolution cameras, which allows them to track the activity of tens of thousands of neurons simultaneously, for the first time.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07097-3

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