IUBio

the liver and the brain

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 5 10:22:52 EST 2004


On 4 Sep 2004 18:12:58 -0700, feedbackdroids at yahoo.com (dan michaels)
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<413a0722.10678522 at netnews.att.net>...
>> On 4 Sep 2004 09:35:30 -0700, feedbackdroids at yahoo.com (dan michaels)
>> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> 
>> >"John Hasenkam" <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message news:<41392480 at dnews.tpgi.com.au>...
>> >> "dan michaels" <feedbackdroids at yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> >> news:8d8494cf.0409030853.7911b8bf at posting.google.com...
>> >> > > >In contrast, since ungulates pop out into the world being able to walk
>> >> > > >and run within hours, I was also wondering that their visual systems
>> >> > > >might also be similarly advanced, as compard to humans and other
>> >> > > >animals like you mentioned. Do they have to "learn" what a lion looks,
>> >> > > >or might their visual systems already have some hard-coding regards
>> >> > > >this?
>> >> 
>> >> To come at this from a tangent, it is interesting to recall studies showing
>> >> how axons for varous senses, after injury, can end up projecting to regions
>> >> other than their "programmed" targets. Auditory axons will project to visual
>> >> areas, perhaps explaining the echo location noted in some blind individuals.
>> >> Not many studies on this but the few are surprising in their results.
>> >> Results such as these suggest a top down guidance of axonal projections, but
>> >> I'll freely admit I find that very spooky.
>> >> 
>> >> John.
>> >
>> >
>> >You might be referring to studies in amphibians and ferrets, but this
>> >doesn't address my question regards the level of development of
>> >perceptual systems at the time of birth in precocial ungulates either,
>> >does it.
>> >
>> >It's a fairly interesting problem in its own right, since a baby zebra
>> >has to be ready to flee from a lion shortly after birth, if it ever
>> >wants to get to be an adult zebra. To flee from a lion, it might help
>> >to be able to distinquish one from a parent zebra, so upon seeing its
>> >own parent, it doesn't go running off into the jaws of the nearest
>> >lion. I guess it's conceivable the adult zebra would be able to
>> >"teach" its baby what a lion is in the first hour or so, or that the
>> >baby learns on its own the first time a lion comes to eat it. Operant
>> >conditioning rules, so long as the organism makes it through the first
>> >day against something 10X its size and power, not to mention the big
>> >teeth.
>> 
>> The baby zebra wouldn't have to learn to discriminate lions. It would
>> just have to learn to stay with its mother, a much easier task for
>> which it is presumably born pretty much ready.
>> 
>> Regards - Lester
>
>
>So, it comes out and immediately "imprints" on its own mother, like a
>duck on the first thing it sees? And then over time, it finally does
>learn about the lion? Motor activity is precocial, but general
>perception is altricial? - to use RN's terms.

I imagine imprinting is reciprocal. And I don't imagine it ever
learns about the lion. It just learns to stay away from things its
mother regards or regarded as not somewhere she wanted to be.

The whole process is subjective. Animals never learn about other
animals. They really only learn what they want to be around or not
be around and circumstances related to those considerations. Thus
there is never any recognition of a lion as a lion. There is only a
perception of factors related to safety, danger, hunger, thirst, etc.

Your original point about ungulates is a good one. I just don't
imagine it has any bearing on the epistemology of animals.

Regards - Lester



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