Is "Junk" DNA Used to Provide Genetic Memory

Rifle River jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu
Thu Apr 28 12:03:08 EST 1994

In article <9404272000.AA07826 at bambi.ccs.fau.edu>, tomh at BAMBI.CCS.FAU.EDU
(Tom Holroyd) wrote:

> Saying there is a "motor program" for something like spinning is no more
> useful than saying there is junk-DNA for it, I would hazard.

That would depend on your definition of motor program.  It may be a good 
idea for the two of you to each define motor program before further

>  One is led
> to ask, "where is this motor program stored?" and "how is it switched on?"

Are both of these questions necessary and sufficient for understanding how
motor program results in specific intrinsic behaviors?

> such as in nest building or web spinning.  There need not be any program
> for web spinning at all, merely a small set of other behaviors.

Wouldn't all of the programs comprising the different subsets constitute a
web spinning program?
>  Spinning is just a natural consequence of the
> interactions (couplings) between the various subsystems,

Why isn't this a complex program made up of many simpler subprograms?

> varying the conditions 
>  can produce different behaviors from
> otherwise similar circumstances.

Doesn't this merely mean that the program is plastic or capable of changing
based on previous experience (learning)?

>  If you vary things smoothly enough you
> can even see transitions from one mode of behavior to another.  What you
> are probing in such cases is not a "motor program" but the self-organized,
> emergent pattern formation process.

This looks like a definition.  I am obviously not familiar with this, so
expand on this a little further?  It almost sounds like you have the
formation (behavior?) independent of the motor movements which make
up the behavior.  I am probably way off base here...


Rifle River                      
jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu   

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net