Octopuses love HDTV but lack personality, claims Australian researcher

Since 18-percent of HDTV owners are apparently unable to tell the difference between high and standard definition content, it looks like octopuses have human-kind beat.  An Australian researcher, the curiously named Renata Pronk, enlisted the help of 32 octopuses to examine why they have so little response to recorded video.  She discovered that the octopuses' advanced eyes see standard 25fps PAL video as a series of still images, rather than a moving picture.  So instead she wrapped her HDTV with saran wrap and dropped that in the tank.

Well no, not really, but shown the 50fps video and the octopuses began reacting to it as they might a real object.  That is, when shown a crab they tried to attack and eat it, when shown another octopus they inflated and acted aggressively, and when shown a bottle dangling on a piece of string they either inflated or ignored it.

Pronk went on to repeat the experiment with all of the octopuses over the course of several days, finding no consistent responses.  That led her to conclude that the animals have no individual personalities, something already contested by a number of love stories in the Slashdot comments linked below.

[via Slashdot]