As mentioned in the TED talk, the nervous system of an octopus is spread throughout the body, and about 70% of nerve cells are in the eight arms. Each arm can move independently by the information processing of the peripheral nervous system. Furthermore, by exchanging information among the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system, the octopus can coordinate the arm movements and realize swimming and crawling.
One of a leading research group of octopus movement is in Israel, and in the group we can find the name of Prof. Tamar Flash who has analyzed how the human brain solves the redundant problem in reaching movements. Their research explains that the octopus can move in any directions like a drone by using the eight arms radially spreading at 45-degree intervals (Curr. Biol. 2015, 25(9):1195-200). Furthermore, octopuses make virtual joints in their arms and bend them like humans when they grab a target and bring it to their mouse, (J. Neurosci. 1996, 16(22):7297–7307).
Recently we have also been analyzing the crawling movement of octopuses and found some exciting features about which we will report next opportunity. The following is the video of a crawling octopus we captured.