The Veined Octopus is named for the pattern of dark, branching lines on its skin. It's also sometimes referred to as the Coconut Octopus, for reasons made apparent by the video below:
Octopuses' brain-to-body mass ratio puts them on par with birds and mammals, and one of the most amazing attributes of octopus intelligence is a great memory – what allows them to recall past situations and anticipate future needs, epitomized by the Veined Octopus's coconuts. While cephalopods, by virtue of their invertebrate phylogeny, have much fewer central neurons and simpler anatomical and cellular organization, they do have some notable neurophysiological similarities to advanced vertebrates, including a vertical lobe that is seemingly directly analogous to the mammalian hippocampus. Signal transmission between two vertical-lobe neurons results in transmission enhancement, long-term synaptic modifications that remain etched in neural pathways. This cellular process, called long-term potentation (LTP), was first discovered in the 1960s in rabbits by a Norwegian neurosurgeon and is today believed to be a driving mechanism behind learning and memory. Multiple studies, including a 2003 study led by Dr. Binyamin Hochner, have shown LTP activity in vertical lobe neurons. In the words of Cephalove's Mike Mike, Hochner's study undertakes the following:
"In this study, electrical pulses were sent through the MSF (medial superior frontal) tract – a tract that runs parallel to the brain surface and interacts with vertical lobe neurons. Simultaneously, recordings were made from neurons in the vertical lobe that could receive signals from the MSF tract. What the experimenters were testing was whether they could induce LTP in octopus neurons by stimulating them. This procedure is known to work in vertebrates, and is thought to be responsible for much of vertebrate neural plasticity (that is, the adjustment of the way neurons are “wired” together, which is thought to allow us to do things like learn and remember.) If it’s present in octopus, then it means that there is something about the organization of this type of system that is efficient or effective enough to have evolved largely independently in two very different groups of animals (although we don’t actually know exactly what the last common evolutionary ancestor was between people and octopus, we have a pretty good idea – but that’s for another post. It suffices to say that it mostly likely had a very simple nervous system, meaning that octopus and vertebrate brains evolved mostly independently.)"
Like other cephalopods, octopuses have very well-developed eyes. However, the forward-facing placement of retinal rod and cone cells means that while they have excellent close-range vision, they are nearsighted cannot see at distances greater than 8 feet.
Fun fact: Unlike humans, cephalopods' optic nerves do not run straight through their retinal cells but instead behind them. This means that cephalopod eyes do not have the blind spot characteristic of vertebrate eyes.