Corvids, such as crows, ravens, and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds animals on the planet—the list of their cognitive achievements goes on and on—yet neuroscientists have not scrutinized their brains for one simple reason: They don’t have a neocortex.
Read more from Nautilus.
Even more different from the human brain is the octopus, which is capable of learning, play, planning, and (of course) deception. The octopus brain is distributed through the nervous system, extended out through the tentacles. And then there is the paramecium, which is capable of learning though it is a single cell and has no nervous system at all. Maybe beginning with a single cell is a place to begin study of learning and memory.
Here is a blog that claims neuropsychology is stuck in an anthropocentric paradigm, and is in need of a reboot. This is a big claim to make without specifics, but from intuition and from the quality of what I’ve read in the field, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right.
* The reference from the title is to Lewis Carroll, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”