I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how a creature with distributed intelligence, like an octopus, might think and feel as part of research for a sci-fi story, but have been having some difficulties finding concrete answers or visualizing an octopus’ mental state based on what little I do know and have heard. Is this because little information on the possibility of distributed intelligence exists, or am I just bad at research?
Anyway, I recently heard about and did some surface-level research (wikipedia, Youtube videos etc.) about split-brain epilepsy patients who have undergone surgery to cut their corpus callosum, which seems to separate the right and left halves of their brains as a way of reducing seizures in these patients. Their behavior, which many seem to have taken as evidence that humans are literally of two minds about most things (heh), reminded me of how an octopus’ severed tentacle will still wriggle around and try to capture food to bring to a mouth it is no longer attached to.
What I want to know is, “is this an accurate metaphor?” I realize I’m trying to understand the psychology of a poorly understood animal by using poorly understood aspects of human psychology as a metaphor for a metaphor, but am I at least headed in the right direction towards understanding how an octopus or an alien creature with distributed intelligence might think and feel by comparing them to split-brain patients? Or is this a grossly inaccurate dead end?