Re: ality

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 01:42:46 GMT

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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?

    We're talking about two different experiments; I'm not talking about the one where the cannibal flatworms were able to immediately solve a maze previously solved by their dined-on compatriots (slime trails would suffice to explain this one rather well), but about an experiment where flatworms were taught to jump in response to a flashing light, by running current through their cage just after the flash. The jump separated their bodies from the cage floor, so they avoided the shock, and the light was a signal that a negative stimulus was immediately forthcoming, in response to which evasive action was eventually learned. Then their bodies were ground and fed to other flatworms, who jumped almost immediately upon seeing a light flash (no long learning curve). Obviously, slime trails cannot explain these experimental results.

    >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.
    >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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