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Everything posted by thinker_jeff

  1. No. From my statement, it cannot derive out you statement logically. Before human discovered the scientific methods we created lots of elements for scientific methods, such as language and math. I have not defined anything, instead, I used a short term "animal" to replace a long term "the animal not in human specise". If you don't mind the bothering by the long term, I can do that just for you. Same issue as Phi. Show me the evidence.
  2. I don't think this is a scientific argument (we're discussing in science, aren't we?) , maybe is a philosophical one. Show me the evidence about "if they did".
  3. Phi for All, you are still repeating the some argument: the line between animals and humans doesn't exist because there are too many shared characteristics and not enough truly distinguishing factors. Although you haven't mentioned the meaning of "animal", I assume that you mean animal as I do. I don't want to repeat my logic once more, instead, I want to give one of the factors distinguished human and animal. Human beings are scientifically studying animals; however, animals do not study humans scientifically.
  4. I don't understand why you jump into a discussion but don't want to read what have been discussed. I said that the OP's animal means the animal not in human species, otherwise he shouldn't ask this question. For some reason we don't know, the OP hasn't clarified his concept. The animal not in human species is a different identity from human; therefore, by logic, there must be a line between these two identities. Do you agree with that?
  5. If you have read every post before this, you should know it has been answered already. One knows that something exists, but may not know where it is exactly.
  6. You don't because you are more literal with the question than I do. The OP's "animal" means the animal not in human species, otherwise he asked a wrong question.
  7. Maybe I was. I thought that nobody would be interested even though he/she might not know where the distinction is. There may be still some elements attached with civilization. A man having multiple wives typically makes love with each of them privately. A person eating only raw meat still cares if it is clean. Anyway, I still don't know what the OP needs.
  8. The line exists and every one knows that. Let's ask this question in another way - Does anyone believe that a human and an animal (not in human species) are the same? Even a first grader will say "no." If they are two different identities, there must be a line between them. One may not point out the line as precious as Phi for All does, but he may still point out that human is more intelligent or civilized, etc.
  9. It doesn't sound like an interesting documentary series. Everyone believes knowing where the line between human and animal exists (may or may not be precious enough), so that the most of people don't even bother to question it.
  10. Following the failure of a wide range of attempts to solve the crystal structure of M-PMV retroviral protease by molecular replacement, we challenged players of the protein folding game Foldit to produce accurate models of the protein. Remarkably, Foldit players were able to generate models of sufficient quality for successful molecular replacement and subsequent structure determination. The refined structure provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs. http://www.nature.com/nsmb/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nsmb.2119.html I don't kwon who are the game players though.
  11. Here is the news: Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males In species in which males care for young, testosterone (T) is often high during mating periods but then declines to allow for caregiving of resulting offspring. This model may apply to human males, but past human studies of T and fatherhood have been cross-sectional, making it unclear whether fatherhood suppresses T or if men with lower T are more likely to become fathers. Here, we use a large representative study in the Philippines (n = 624) to show that among single nonfathers at baseline (2005) (21.5 ± 0.3 y), men with high waking T were more likely to become partnered fathers by the time of follow-up 4.5 y later (P < 0.05). Men who became partnered fathers then experienced large declines in waking (median: −26%) and evening (median: −34%) T, which were significantly greater than declines in single nonfathers (P < 0.001). Consistent with the hypothesis that child interaction suppresses T, fathers reporting 3 h or more of daily childcare had lower T at follow-up compared with fathers not involved in care (P < 0.05). Using longitudinal data, these findings show that T and reproductive strategy have bidirectional relationships in human males, with high T predicting subsequent mating success but then declining rapidly after men become fathers. Our findings suggest that T mediates tradeoffs between mating and parenting in humans, as seen in other species in which fathers care for young. They also highlight one likely explanation for previously observed health disparities between partnered fathers and single men. http://www.pnas.org/...9/02/1105403108 My question is - is this result related with the culture? Why they do this in Philippines?
  12. No evidence being found doesn't mean no evidence in fact. The reality is that current brain scan technologies are still very low resolution in time and space. The true evidence may be too detailed to be detected. In this case, we should trust the clinical psychologist more than the brain scanner.
  13. I think that philosophy can still be useful in the field where science hasn't been completely established yet. For example, in the field of Artificial Intelligence, a known thought experiment is Turing Test which was designed by philosophical method. In such experiment there are a human subject, a machine with artificial intelligence, and a human judge. All of them are separated from each other, say, in the separated rooms linked together with computers. The judge can only tell which the machine is by reading the emulating human response. If the judge cannot discriminate which is which, it means that the machine passed the test. The original test designer, Dr. Alan Turing, believed that the machine passed the test can think.
  14. Thanks for reminding me about that. My original motivation is to feed this forum with some cutting-edge topics so that others can join in to discuss. It seems working for some topic but not working for others. Your reminding tells me one of the reasons why this method hasn't worked very well. Anyway, I have no problem to tell what I think about my thought, although the article has expressed a lot of great thought already. We knew that the sensory systems for visual input, the auditory input and touchy input (inclulding pain, temperature, etc.) are found to be coded as topographic segregation in cortex, or simply called "map" in brain. This study shows that the sensory system for taste input does the same way as the above sensory systems, too. Here is my guessing - The sensory system for olfaction input (smelling) should be followed the same principle, in which the inputs are coded as a map somewhere in cortex.
  15. Each taste, from sweet to salty, is sensed by a unique set of neurons in the brains of mice, new research reveals. The findings demonstrate that neurons that respond to specific tastes are arranged discretely in what the scientists call a "gustotopic map." This is the first map that shows how taste is represented in the mammalian brain. There's no mistaking the sweetness of a ripe peach for the saltiness of a potato chip -- in part due to highly specialized, selectively-tuned cells in the tongue that detect each unique taste. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NIH scientists have added to our understanding of how we perceive taste, showing that four of our basic tastes -- sweet, bitter, salty, and "umami," or savory -- are also processed by distinct areas of the brain. The researchers published their work in the September 2, 2011, issue of the journal Science. "This work further reveals coding in the taste system via labeled lines, and it exposes the basic logic for the brain representation of the last of the classical five senses," said Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Charles S. Zuker, who is at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "The way that we perceive the sensory world has been something that's fascinated humanity throughout our whole existence," says Nicholas J. P. Ryba of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, who collaborated with Zuker on the new study. "What is a taste, really? It's the firing of a set of neurons in the brain, and that's what we want to understand." In the past, researchers had measured the electrical activity of small clusters of neurons to see which areas of a mouse's brain were activated by different tastes. In those experiments, the areas responding to different tastes seemed to blend together, and scientists therefore concluded that neurons appeared to process all tastes broadly. Zuker, Ryba, and other collaborators had previously identified unique taste receptors and taste receptor cells for each taste -- uncovering a "one taste, one cell class" coding scheme. Activating these receptor cells triggered innate behaviors in mice: attraction to sweet, umami, and low salt and aversion to bitter, sour, and high salt. With this clear link between taste and "hardwired" behaviors, the researchers wondered why different tastes would be processed by the same neurons in the brain. They suspected that the previous experiments had missed something. So Xiaoke Chen, a postdoctoral associate in Zuker's lab tried a powerful new technique, called two-photon calcium imaging, to determine which neurons responded when an animal is exposed to different taste qualities. When a neuron is activated, it releases a wave of calcium throughout the cell. So the level of calcium can serve as a proxy for measuring activation of neurons. The researchers injected dye into the neurons of mice that made those cells light up with fluorescence every time calcium was released. Then, they looked at the brains of the mice under high-powered microscopes that allowed them to watch hundreds of nerve cells at a time deep within the brain of mice. When a cell was activated, the researchers saw it fluoresce. This allowed them to monitor the activity of large ensembles of cells, as opposed to previous methods, which tracked only a few cells at a time. They observed that when a mouse is given something bitter to taste, or the receptors on its tongue that sense bitter are stimulated, many neurons in one small, specific area of the brain light up. When the mouse is given something salty, an area a few millimeters away is activated. Each taste corresponded to a different hotspot in the brain. None of the areas overlapped -- in fact, there was space between all of them. "The idea of maps in the brain is one that has been found in other senses," says Ryba. "But in those cases the brain maps correspond to external maps." Different frequencies of sound activate different sets of neurons, for example. In the case of these auditory neurons, the map is arranged in order of frequency, from the lowest to the highest. Visual neurons are found in an arrangement that mimics the field of vision sensed by the eyes. However, taste offers no preexisting arrangement before reaching the brain; furthermore, the receptors for all tastes are found randomly throughout the tongue -- thus the spatial organization of taste neurons into a topographic brain map is all the more surprising. Zuker says that now the team has discovered a brain map for taste qualities, they next want to uncover "how taste combines with other sensory inputs like olfaction and texture, and the internal state -- hunger and expectation, for example -- to choreograph flavor, taste memories, and taste behaviors." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901142110.htm
  16. In the fields of Engineering and Science it seriously depends on the person's ability to resolve logical problems. There are countless data to show that in average men are more capable to do such job than women. For example, amoung the top 100 chess players in the world, there is only one female so far in history. http://ratings.fide.....phtml?list=men If you look the juniors younger than 20 years old who are typically not responsible to raise a family, there is still only one female player amoung the top 20 players in the world. http://ratings.fide....ml?list=juniors I believe you are not as a sexist, neither am I. Maybe it is because "the fewer, the better."
  17. Mother Tongue and Y Chromosomes Some 6000 different languages are spoken in the world today, and tracing the prehistory of languages and of language change by means of genetic markers has long been a goal (1). However, this has proven to be a more challenging task than simply tracing colonizations. Nevertheless, a number of genetic studies over the past few years have started to address language and language change before recorded history. A correlation is emerging that suggests language change in an already-populated region may require a minimum proportion of immigrant males, as reflected in Y-chromosome DNA types. By contrast, the female lineages, as indicated by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) types, do not reflect the survivor language but represent more ancient settlement. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6048/1390.summary
  18. This question may lead more philosphical discussions. I think that it has strong relation with the motivation of the person. If you intentionally want to make yourself looking more unique and better than others but the majority of people see you weird, that means you made a mistake (may or may not be insane). If you have no intention to act special but the majority see you weird, you are probably insane. When you intentionally act weird to amuse others and the people are really amused, you are sane and doing great.
  19. I like this example. It should be good to explain a lot of behavior in economical field. The owner of the house who wants to sell it seems as the first player, and the realtor seems as the second player. To the human beings before civilization, I'm not so sure if it worked that much.
  20. In an effort to understand what happens in the brain when a person reads or considers such abstract ideas as love or justice, Princeton researchers have for the first time matched images of brain activity with categories of words related to the concepts a person is thinking about. The results could lead to a better understanding of how people consider meaning and context when reading or thinking. The researchers report in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience that they used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify areas of the brain activated when study participants thought about physical objects such as a carrot, a horse or a house. The researchers then generated a list of topics related to those objects and used the fMRI images to determine the brain activity that words within each topic shared. For instance, thoughts about "eye" and "foot" produced similar neural stirrings as other words related to body parts. Once the researchers knew the brain activity a topic sparked, they were able to use fMRI images alone to predict the subjects and words a person likely thought about during the scan. This capability to put people's brain activity into words provides an initial step toward further exploring themes the human brain touches upon during complex thought. "The basic idea is that whatever subject matter is on someone's mind -- not just topics or concepts, but also, emotions, plans or socially oriented thoughts -- is ultimately reflected in the pattern of activity across all areas of his or her brain," said the team's senior researcher, Matthew Botvinick, an associate professor in Princeton's Department of Psychology and in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. "The long-term goal is to translate that brain-activity pattern into the words that likely describe the original mental 'subject matter,'" Botvinick said. "One can imagine doing this with any mental content that can be verbalized, not only about objects, but also about people, actions and abstract concepts and relationships. This study is a first step toward that more general goal. "If we give way to unbridled speculation, one can imagine years from now being able to 'translate' brain activity into written output for people who are unable to communicate otherwise, which is an exciting thing to consider. In the short term, our technique could be used to learn more about the way that concepts are represented at the neural level -- how ideas relate to one another and how they are engaged or activated." The research, which was published Aug. 23, was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. Depicting a person's thoughts through text is a "promising and innovative method" that the Princeton project introduces to the larger goal of correlating brain activity with mental content, said Marcel Just, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. The Princeton researchers worked from brain scans Just had previously collected in his lab, but he had no active role in the project. "The general goal for the future is to understand the neural coding of any thought and any combination of concepts," Just said. "The significance of this work is that it points to a method for interpreting brain activation patterns that correspond to complex thoughts." Tracking the brain's 'semantic threads' Largely designed and conducted in Botvinick's lab by lead author and Princeton postdoctoral researcher Francisco Pereira, the study takes a currently popular approach to neuroscience research in a new direction, Botvinick said. He, Pereira and coauthor Greg Detre, who earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2010, based their work on various research endeavors during the past decade that used brain-activity patterns captured by fMRI to reconstruct pictures that participants viewed during the scan. "This 'generative' approach -- actually synthesizing something, an artifact, from the brain-imaging data -- is what inspired us in our study, but we generated words rather than pictures," Botvinick said. "The thought is that there are many things that can be expressed with language that are more difficult to capture in a picture. Our study dealt with concrete objects, things that are easy to put into a picture, but even then there was an interesting difference between generating a picture of a chair and generating a list of words that a person associates with 'chair.'" Those word associations, lead author Pereira explained, can be thought of as "semantic threads" that can lead people to think of objects and concepts far from the original subject matter yet strangely related. "Someone will start thinking of a chair and their mind wanders to the chair of a corporation then to Chairman Mao -- you'd be surprised," Pereira said. "The brain tends to drift, with multiple processes taking place at the same time. If a person thinks about a table, then a lot of related words will come to mind, too. And we thought that if we want to understand what is in a person's mind when they think about anything concrete, we can follow those words." Pereira and his co-authors worked from fMRI images of brain activity that a team led by Just and fellow Carnegie Mellon researcher Tom Mitchell, a professor of computer science, published in the journal Science in 2008. For those scans, nine people were presented with the word and picture of five concrete objects from 12 categories. The drawing and word for the 60 total objects were displayed in random order until each had been shown six times. Each time an image and word appeared, participants were asked to visualize the object and its properties for three seconds as the fMRI scanner recorded their brain activity. Matching words and brain activity with related topics Separately, Pereira and Detre constructed a list of topics with which to categorize the fMRI data. They used a computer program developed by Princeton Associate Professor of Computer Science David Blei to condense 3,500 articles about concrete objects from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia into all the topics the articles covered. The articles included a broad array of subjects, such as an airplane, heroin, birds and manual transmission. The program came up with 40 possible topics -- such as aviation, drugs, animals or machinery -- with which the articles could relate. Each topic was defined by the words most associated with it. The computer ultimately created a database of topics and associated words that were free from the researchers' biases, Pereira said. "We let the software discern the factors that make up meaning rather than stipulating it ourselves," he said. "There is always a danger that we could impose our preconceived notions of the meaning words have. Plus, I can identify and describe, for instance, a bird, but I don't think I can list all the characteristics that make a bird a bird. So instead of postulating, we let the computer find semantic threads in an unsupervised manner." The topic database let the researchers objectively arrange the fMRI images by subject matter, Pereira said. To do so, the team searched the brain scans of related objects for similar activity to determine common brain patterns for an entire subject, Pereira said. The neural response for thinking about "furniture," for example, was determined by the common patterns found in the fMRI images for "table," "chair," "bed," "desk" and "dresser." At the same time, the team established all the words associated with "furniture" by matching each fMRI image with related words from the Wikipedia-based list. Based on the similar brain activity and related words, Pereira, Botvinick and Detre concluded that the same neural response would appear whenever a person thought of any of the words related to furniture, Pereira said. And a scientist analyzing that brain activity would know that person was thinking of furniture. The same would follow for any topic. Using images to predict the words on a person's mind Finally, to ensure their method was accurate, the researchers conducted a blind comparison of each of the 60 fMRI images against each of the others. Without knowing the objects the pair of scans pertained to, Pereira and his colleagues estimated the presence of certain topics on a participant's mind based solely on the fMRI data. Knowing the applicable Wikipedia topics for a given brain image, and the keywords for each topic, they could predict the most likely set of words associated with the brain image. The researchers found that they could confidently determine from an fMRI image the general topic on a participant's mind, but that deciphering specific objects was trickier, Pereira said. For example, they could compare the fMRI scan for "carrot" against that for "cow" and safely say that at the time the participant had thought about vegetables in the first example instead of animals. In turn, they could say that the person most likely thought of other words related to vegetables, as opposed to words related to animals. On the other hand, when the scan for "carrot" was compared to that for "celery," Pereira and his colleagues knew the participant had thought of vegetables, but they could not identify related words unique to either object. One aim going forward, Pereira said, is to fine-tune the group's method to be more sensitive to such detail. In addition, he and Botvinick have begun performing fMRI scans on people as they read in an effort to observe the various topics the mind accesses. "Essentially," Pereira said, "we have found a way to generally identify mental content through the text related to it. We can now expand that capability to even further open the door to describing thoughts that are not amenable to being depicted with pictures." http://www.scienceda...10831115922.htm
  21. I had hard time to catch your point. For example: "This is not a political statement, simply pointing out that if social individuals, like primates are have at least 3 forms of collective organisation: group, group/individual, and individual based, I fail to see how its possible to extrapolate a simple dichotomy (and ignoring structural conflicting interests) in rational/irrational 'group as a unit' behaviour from a Eurykarote species so distant from us that isn't even a Deuterstome." I don't want to be offensive. Maybe my English is not good enough.
  22. Thank you for the comment and I will keep doing that in SFN. There is still a question - can ants inform each other with a specific description about the nests? I think that makes a big difference to explain their behavior. We might not know the answer at this moment, however, it could help us to think of the further studies.
  23. I haven't read this book, but I read a similar book which is pretty helpful for being a dad: http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sim_b_3 Since the book you found has been rated a little higher than the one I read, it seems you should go ahead to get it. Of course, I shouldn't be responsible if you didn't like it after the purchasing.
  24. I like your opinion very much. My question is more related to psychology. What kind of communication do ants have? Can an ant tell another what the nest looks like? Or, can it tell the comparison of two nests? I assume that more information they can exchange, more rational choice will be made. Human beings can exchange information more than any other species, that why they dominate this world.
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