Re: ality

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 01:36:04 GMT

  • Next message: Joe Dees: "Re: ality"

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    From: "Joe Dees" <>
    Subject: Re: ality
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    >Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 13:16:12 -0500
    > Keith Henson <> Re: alityReply-To:
    >At 12:56 AM 07/02/02 -0800, "Joe Dees" <>
    > wrote:
    >> >Sorry, this is an Urban myth kind of meme. Poor poor controls had the
    >> >flatworms following slime trails.
    >> >
    >> >Shame too, because I once helped write a humor story about university
    >> >course content being broken down into such small pieces it could be taught
    >> >to flatworms.
    >> >
    >> >Then knowledge in the form of ground up flatworms was fed--like liver pate
    >> >on crackers--to the students.
    >> >
    >>How did the slime trails elevate?
    >Krister is correct in that the original theory that RNA is the code for
    >memory storage was eventually discredited after being viewed as an
    >important discovery.
    >If anyone's interested, I have a citation for the original article (I
    >don't have the article itself, but this comes from Schneider & Tarshis,
    >2/e, 1980, one of my old Physio. Psych textbooks ):
    >McConnell, JV. 1962. Memory transfer through cannibalism in planarians.
    >Journal of Neuropsychiatry 3 (Supplement no. 1): 542-548.
    >I like the notion that the slime track was responsible for the putative
    >"memory enhancement," but don't have a reference for it. Perhaps
    >Krister or another NG reader would?
    >Also, did they ever use a new T-maze for the memory test? Some might
    >argue that this presents different environmental cues and would confound
    >the results, but this could be easily controlled.
    >S&T mention (p.451) that Hartry's group (published in Science, see
    >below) used two groups of "donor" planaria: one group trained to avoid
    >shock, the other group was just randomly shocked. RNA from both donor
    >types produced the transfer effect in the recipient planaria, suggesting
    >that shock itself, rather than learning/memory, changed the performance.
    I still have questions about this. Since the cannibal planaria jumped when the light came on, immediately before the shock was sent, and not otherwise, just like the previously trained and eaten ones did, it would seem that BOTH the light AND the shock, in close succession, caused the change - but isn't that operant (stimulus-response-linking) conditioning? And how could a slime trail tell an organism to jump in the first place, and especially to jump after a light flashed, but not otherwise?
    >Hartry, AL et al. 1964. Planaria: memory transfer through cannibalism
    >re-examined. Science 146: 274-275.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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