the liver and the brain
David at longley.demon.co.uk
Sun Sep 5 17:47:08 EST 2004
In article <8d8494cf.0409051127.32b66d14 at posting.google.com>, dan
michaels <feedbackdroids at yahoo.com> writes
>This N.v.N thing is obviously a spectrum, with a lot of animals down
>on the nature/instinct end, and a general trend towards greater
>importance of nurture on the other end. If you look at it this way, it
>seems a waste of time to argue absolutes of "nature vs nurture",
>rather it seems more fruitful to figure out about where on the
>spectrum various animals would lie. In addition, you probably need
>several such spectrums, or scales, in order to cover different
>attributes ... motor, perceptual, etc ... as there is no doubt some
>differential placement regards each.
>Back to perception, it's actually not too hard to hypothesize the
>existence of neural circuitry for distinquishing predators from prey
>[or self-same species]. Frogs already have the basis of this in their
>class 3 and 4 retinal cells. One imagines precocial animals rely on
>something similar, albeit more sophisticated.
If anyone is sincerely interested in learning how to approach these
(highly sensitive & 'political') issues within science, they'd be wise
to do a search on "behavioural genetics". Although we're soon likely to
see interval or ratio measures of behaviour replacing the classical
ordinal measures (upon which the factors comprising "intelligence" ('g')
were classically derived using IQ tests), the current and future focus
is likely to be on extensional measures such as chromosome 6 genes and
how these may relate to individual differences in parameters of
behaviour related to 'g' but measured at the interval or ratio levels of
measurement (cf. RT or IT at the msec level etc).
Anyone interested should have a look at
http://www.robertplomin.com/index.html and related links, paying
attention to what people like Jensen have had to say over the years.
After a little Herrnstein along the way, it may become clearer why the
priority of behaviour analysis has been emphasised so much in c.a.p, and
why the indeterminacies so characteristic of what's done at the other
end of the measurement scale (so favoured by mentalists) has been
denigrated as no more than muddled folk psychological rhetoric.
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