Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 17:50:35 GMT

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    > Habit, in nature, is based upon the accumulation of adaptive
    > behaviours over time. Corals on the Great Barrier Reef all release eggs and
    > sperm at the same time within a 3-4 day period at the same time each year-
    > millions and millions of coral all within the same period of time, clear
    > evidence of the millions of years corals have been evolving, and the
    > adaptive benefits of doing this at the same time as other corals so your
    > eggs don't all get eaten. Do corals have memories, or are they merely
    > following an encoded programme in their neural tissue (I don't even know if
    > corals have brains, so to speak) itself a product of evolution?

    And at the risk off nicking your ball and running far too far with it; I
    have no problem with the idea that 'lower' animals can have classically
    evolved, hard-wired 'memes' (but then I abuse that term horribly because
    I can't think of a more appropriate one). ICU is the term for going
    'Squawk!' when you see a predator (not to alert mates - that would be
    true altruism, of which there is none in the world - it's to let the
    *predator* know that *you've* seen it [I see you] so please attack
    someone else - entirely selfish, like flocking, but I digress) - that is
    a complex behavioural response to a very complex stimulus - what is the
    difference whether this is hard wired or learned (apart from timescale
    and some minor system details)?

      Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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