This video has been making the rounds: it shows a Japanese food dish in which a squid is “debrained”, and served raw with soy sauce.
Pouring the soy sauce on makes the arms move.
It’s easy to declare that this is just reflex action, but I have my doubts.
Let me move laterally to octopi for a few paragraphs.
Octopus research is much further along than squid research, but what it shows is that the arms of octopi can “think” independently of their brain.
We developed a method of brain microstimulation in freely behaving animals and stimulated … We found no stimulation site where movements of a single arm or body part could be elicited. Discrete and complex components have no central topographical organization but are distributed over wide regions.
More plainly: an octopus moves without having “thought” about it in a particular spot of its brain, or even its body.
Back to the squid.
Did you notice that the arms don’t just flail: that the squid is actually climbing out of the bowl?
I’m not queasy about food, or a great defender of animal rights, but I seriously wonder if this video is showing torture.