RE: Study shows brain can learn without really trying

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Fri Nov 23 2001 - 13:58:30 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying"

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    Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 08:58:30 -0500
    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: RE: Study shows brain can learn without really trying
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    Hi Vincent,

        I'm a little bit confused by what you are saying here but I'll try and
    address your question as best I can. Other members of a species can be
    called a part of the environment in a broad sense. It's effects of that
    initial environment (aka guppy sees female with drab male) that make the
    animal react differently to a subsequent environment (guppy sees drab male
    and brightly colored male and goes towards drab male as opposed to goes
    towards brightly colored male). It's just a long hand way of saying the
    guppy copies the behavior of the other guppy. Guppy imitation of other
    guppies is a pre-programmed response, yes. So is human acquisition of
    language from other humans. What mate choice or what language is acquired
    depends on the organism being copied. That specific mate choice or
    language is the memetic, independent element.

    Ray Recchia

    At 01:04 PM 11/23/2001 +0000, you wrote:
    >Point kind of taken, although clearly the environment is a factor because
    >what is being imitated is a specificaly altered environment. These
    >experiments demonstrate flexibility in guppies mate choice, so they are not
    >completely genetically determined, but does make them still environmentally
    >sensitive. Environmental cues triggering different responses- even when
    >that environment is the collective behaviour of others? (e.g. the people
    >facing away from the lift door stunt on candid camera- with three of more
    >people newcomers will copy everyone else in the lift- less than that and
    >they won't- is that imitative choice? or pre-programmed response to external
    > > ----------
    > > From: Ray Recchia
    > > Reply To:
    > > Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 12:52 am
    > > To:
    > > Subject: Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying
    > >
    > > At 11:55 AM 11/22/2001 -0500, you wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > Hi Wade
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Similar environments populated by similar species produce similar
    > > behaviors. No imitation of any sort is required.
    > >
    > > Imitation itself in such models is an illusion.
    > >
    > > - WadE
    > >
    > >
    > > Mate selection in guppies. Guppies generally show a preference for
    > > brightly colored males. Trick a female into seeing other females near a
    > > drab male guppy and the female will subsequently choose the drab male
    > > over the brightly colored male. That has nothing to do with environment.
    > > It's imitation. There are theoretical models which indicate that imitation
    > > is favored when food sources are large but widely scattered and others
    > > that indicate that imitation under these circumstances can cause changes
    > > in population and influence the evolution of a species. What research
    > > has been done appears to contradict your statement
    > >
    > > Ray Recchia.
    > >
    > >

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