did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Discussions on behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, neurology, endocrinology, game theory, etc.

did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 8th, 2016, 3:15 pm 

Hi all,
i can't find a specific and great experiment in which it was shown that rats could both imagine an unseen actor and deduce it's state from clues, it involved a light and a switch, can anyone point me to an article about it?
this ability is all that is needed to create imaginary gods, i'd love it if rats have gods like we do, probably less in number.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Braininvat on February 8th, 2016, 3:47 pm 

There is only one Rat God. And it's name is Donald Trump.

Seriously, am not aware of any findings that support rats imagining an unseen actor. I have to wonder what particular behaviors would be indicative. Hope someone can find the experiment...quite curious.
User avatar
Braininvat
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5767
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 8th, 2016, 4:01 pm 

i emailed it to someone, so have found it by trawling through old emails
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-r ... ering.html
the basic conclusion was that rats were able to imagine the state of an unseen object and act accordingly
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby wolfhnd on February 8th, 2016, 5:28 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:47 pm wrote:There is only one Rat God. And it's name is Donald Trump.


I was thinking maybe we should replace Donald Trump with Karl Marx in this joke but I guess personal integrity and philosophical acumen don't necessarily rule each other out for some individuals. :-)

In any case I can't really comment on the experiment because what seems evident is often subject to poor experimental design. That said organ function including the brain's should be expected to have noticeable similarities across closely related species and perhaps all species. Findings such as these I believe are meet with some hostility because of what Steven Pinker has labeled the "blank slate" philosophy of human malleability. Keeping that in mind you have to weigh what some people call anthropomorphism with a politically motivated cynicism in the academic world.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4292
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 8th, 2016, 5:57 pm 

i wonder if the rat believes the lights bring about the food, cause the food, maybe after a while they would try to influence the light by offerings of food, or worse, other rats, and then a sacrificial religion would evolve, it's all pretty hideous, i wonder if these researchers know what they are getting into, and, wether sentence length is a function of mental state, but, who needs full stops when you have commas.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 12:06 pm 

It takes imagination to think, and animals do not think the way we do. We think instead of sleeping when we have nothing else to do and nobody is around to play with us, but once an isolated animal is fed up and not in danger, it automatically falls asleep. Animals are probably forced to improvise in urgent situations, but as I said, they never sit and take the time to think about the problem before or after the situation happens.
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 1:15 pm 

Hi Inch Worm,
to envision an action is to think.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 1:59 pm 

Hi Moranity,

I make a difference between the actions that are induced by conditioning, and the ones that we develop ourselves by essay and error. I think that human mind benefits from a random function to proceed by essay and error, and that animal mind doesn't have such a function, or else it has it but in a very primitive development.
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 2:05 pm 

Hi Inch Worm,
so you do not think a rat visualises an action before carrying it out?
Do you think that the rat just does that action in the right circumstance, like a hard-wired machine?
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 2:48 pm 

I think it executes an automatism, like us, but that it is unable to change it at will like we do, being thus unable to learn by itself, only by conditioning. Fundamentally, a learning is an automatism, and automatisms are executed unconsciously unless they hurt or unless they might hurt if we don't get conscious of what is happening. I think that, when we feel that an automatism hurts or might hurt, we use a random function to change it, because by definition, it is impossible to predict what will happen to a new action. Visualizing a new action is thus changing an old one at random in case it would not hurt anymore, or in case it would work better. If this mind function that we have was the same for rats, they would be able to learn by themselves, and they would be as intelligent as we are.
Last edited by Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 3:59 pm 

Hi Inch Worm,
rats can learn by themselves, we have massive a wealth of evidence for this.
Unless, by learning, you mean something other than adjusting behaviour to new situations.
Rats do not have the room in their heads to be as intelligent as us, their brains are much smaller, and although brain size does not correlate directly with intelligence, it does effect it massively.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 4:34 pm 

Yesterday, I was reading about the way deaf people imagine language. They don't imagine sounds, but they imagine signs and written words, so they can get as intelligent as people that hear. Language is important to imagination, and animals cannot speak or write or make sophisticated signs, so they can't imagine as much as we do because of that. Memory is also a factor, we can imagine a larger range of past and future because we have a larger range of memories. But on the top of all those ways imagination works, there is imagination itself, and if it is due to a random process, then it seems to me that it is a lot less random in animal minds. I insist on that function because I realized that it was never discussed on the forums. Moreover, it seems that people cannot believe that they think so randomly. Can you?
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 5:58 pm 

Most simple actions are "thought of" in pictures and feelings and sounds, rather than words, in my experience. Words come in with the more complicated stuff, but reaching for something is just imagined and then carried out with little language involved.
The point i am trying to make is that the experiment indicates, in my opinion, that rats share the rudimentary features of our ability to think in "objects with attributes", not that they can do so using words.
In answer to your final question, we have a pool of bubbling void in our brains (a nice analogy is the quantum vacuum) out of which ideas are generated. Over time, this cauldron gives birth to bubbles we cling to and that clinging makes those bubbles stick around until they become habits and those habits form our daily actions and behaviours.
as to whether animals have it, i would need to be an animal to tell, and to me i am an animal, so, at least one animal has it.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 6:10 pm 

How about giving those bubble voids one of the properties of quantum state, that which is probabilistic, thus depends on a random function?
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 6:17 pm 

in my experience this bubbling void is not determined like the wave function of quantum theory.
In quantum theory, with a wave function of a system, whilst each individual iteration of the system is random, if the system is repeated sampled, overall the results are structured and not random.
Where as this bubbling void is completely random, in its core.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on February 14th, 2016, 6:28 pm 

The way I see it, the randomness of the mind would depend on its complexity. After a while, our ideas would evolve randomly the same way environment evolves, and those changes would be tested the same way mutations are tested: by the natural selection of our own environment.
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby moranity on February 14th, 2016, 7:52 pm 

Inchworm » February 14th, 2016, 10:28 pm wrote:The way I see it, the randomness of the mind would depend on its complexity. After a while, our ideas would evolve randomly the same way environment evolves, and those changes would be tested the same way mutations are tested: by the natural selection of our own environment.

Hi Inch Worm,
in my observation of this process/feature within myself, it just seems to be an aspect of consciousness as a whole, when habitual thoughts are stilled, this bubbling cauldron of "proto-thoughts" remains.
User avatar
moranity
Member
 
Posts: 899
Joined: 09 Feb 2011


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby sponge on March 30th, 2016, 1:35 pm 

Inchworm » February 14th, 2016, 11:06 am wrote:It takes imagination to think, and animals do not think the way we do. We think instead of sleeping when we have nothing else to do and nobody is around to play with us, but once an isolated animal is fed up and not in danger, it automatically falls asleep. Animals are probably forced to improvise in urgent situations, but as I said, they never sit and take the time to think about the problem before or after the situation happens.



Some years ago, we discussed this subject in some detail and received some good feedback on the way animals think from neuro. My contribution to that thread was about a true incident that happened with my own chickens. You can read that, and what others said here:

viewtopic.php?f=124&t=19757#p204467
sponge
Member
 
Posts: 815
Joined: 17 Mar 2012


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on March 30th, 2016, 3:15 pm 

Hi Sponge, it seems that I had forgotten about this thread, thanks for reviving it. :)

I do not think that animals are thinking the way we do, otherwise they would not sleep all day long, so I would look for coincidence to explain your rooster behavior. What if it was trying to interest the hen with the grain for instance, and if it had to take it away from the chic because he was going to eat it?

Moranity wrote:in my observation of this process/feature within myself, it just seems to be an aspect of consciousness as a whole, when habitual thoughts are stilled, this bubbling cauldron of "proto-thoughts" remains.
I think that our thoughts can be changed, but not stilled. To me, a thought that we are not conscious of is still running, but since it doesn't have to resist any change, it does not become conscious. Here, I attribute consciousness to our resistance to change our ideas.
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby sponge on March 31st, 2016, 10:59 am 

Hi Inchworm, I agree with you inasmuch as we should always be looking for reasons beyond the immediately apparent and coincidence is always a possible candidate. I don't think your theory about the rooster works, though, because birds don't pursue females with chicks and there were other chickens available for my rooster if he was feeling that sort of need. ;)

Anyway, I think there is a problem with your basic premis because there has been a lot of research and many good results concerning animal intelligence. For instance, this is an excerpt from an article on Science Daily:

'Research results gathered in the recent decades have suggested that birds have sophisticated cognitive skills. According to one theory, they are able to apply those only in specific situations, for example when hoarding food. In a review article in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Prof Dr Onur Güntürkün from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Prof Dr Thomas Bugnyar at the University of Vienna demonstrate that this is not the case.

Together, both researchers compiled studies which had revealed diverse cognitive skills in birds. "The mental abilities of corvids and parrots are as sophisticated and diverse as those of apes," says Onur Güntürkün, Head of the Department for Biopsychology in Bochum. Among other things, they are capable of thinking logically, of recognising themselves in the mirror and of empathy'

You can read more about this and many other experiments and results here...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 084615.htm

Hope this helps your own research.
sponge
Member
 
Posts: 815
Joined: 17 Mar 2012


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on March 31st, 2016, 4:15 pm 

Hope in return that you don't mind if I push my reasoning further Sponge. :^)

The purpose of learning is gratification. What we begin to learn must produce a good feeling for us to keep on learning. If it hurts, there will be no further learning. In the case of the rooster, it means that he would not only be thinking about the immediate satisfaction of the hen, but also about anticipating his own future satisfaction. We know that some animals are able to imagine a future move, and the experiment with the mirror is a good demonstration of that, because they act as if they were able to recognize the motion they had already planned in their mind: what they recognize at first though is simply a coincidence between the move they were planning and the move they see in the mirror. The satisfaction is quite immediate then, they are not using that information to plan a future move, and I don't think that the rooster is either. I don't think he can imagine that the hen or the chick will reward him later for what he is doing now, what is necessary for us to benefit from any of our actions even if they are empathic. If he could do that, wouldn't he be able to anticipate all kinds of future moves like we do? Wouldn't he be as intelligent as we are?
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby neuro on April 1st, 2016, 9:45 am 

sorry to interfere, but I feel the need to say something:
As regards the rats:
1) neural circuits are able to detect and learn associative links (e.g. sound - food)
2) neural circuits can detect temporal sequences and delays in associated bits of information (e.g. sound precedes food)
3) neural circuits learn to react at the appropriate time to a predicted associated stimulus (e.g. flash a light then - after exactly .5 sec - puff air to the eye of a rabbit; do it several times, the rabbit will blink exactly 0.5 s after the flash; if the cerebellum is damaged, it won't be able to do it; the cerebellum is not exactly what we use to THINK; rather, to learn automatic reactions)
4) on top of all this, if you make up a comprehensive view of reality, you tend to realize that there might be a specific relation between two events that are associated, with a fixed time delay, to one another; if, in addition to this, you have been able to develop a language, you may have a word for this specific relation, which is "causality" or "cause-effect relation".
5) this implies that the rat can neurally expect any kind of event which its neural circuits have learnt to be associated to a signal, without "imagining" it, or - even worse - cognitively attributing a cause-effect relation to the two events.

As regards being able to modify behaviors:
1) most behaviors of the rat are moved by physiological needs and guided by external clues (stimuli, signals, food, partners, etc)
2) this kind of behaviors can be executed with no cognitive control, by a visuo-motor cortex that proposes appropriate reactions to stimuli (and appropriate approaches to objects in the surrounding space) and basal nuclei that help, based on past experience, to choose the most rewarding behavior (heuristic), to switch from one behavior to the next, to start an action. As a consequence, a rat has most of its brain filled by basal nuclei instead of cortex
3) when the basal nuclei are insufficient, because something unexpected happens, the heuristic reveals ineffective, an error is made, a difficulty arises, then the prefrontal cortex must intervene, elaborate a possible alternative behavior, inhibit the "externally-guided" behavior and try a new one
4) this only rarely occurs to the rat, and this explains why its prefontal cortex is so discouraging small and thin...
5) we also do many things guided by external clues, we do those things almost automatically (in "auto-pilot") and almost unconsciously, based on learnt heuristics
6) however we have a much more complex system for evaluating the "rewarding value" of each behavior, because we have to consider physiological needs, physical pleasure, but also affective aspects, social concerns, esthetic and ethical values, and - even more important - we have to evaluate all these things over many different time scales (momentary and future consequences of any possible behavior).
7) this implies that most often we have to interfere with heuristically-driven behavior (auto-pilot) because much more numerous motivational conflicts arise for us than for a rat; we also have to internally simulate, prefigure and imagine the consequences of each act, which requires a COGNITIVE evaluation of cause-effect relations, i.e. taking care of accurately distinguishing whether two events are simply temporally associated or one is the cause of the other. Which is something we gradually learn in our childhood, adolescence and adult life (notice that many adults develop and maintain quite wrong ideas about causality between events).
User avatar
neuro
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2620
Joined: 25 Jun 2010
Location: italy


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on April 1st, 2016, 11:37 am 

Hi Neuro,

I agree on everything you say, yet, it doesn't change the way I think mind is working, so it doesn't change my opinion on the rooster's behavior. By the way, do you have one?
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 1st, 2016, 1:06 pm 

Neuro doesn't have a mind.

:)
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4500
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on April 1st, 2016, 2:25 pm 

It seems that we have something in common Neuro! Only one neuron! :>)
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby neuro on April 5th, 2016, 7:18 am 

Yup, but it appears you do have a rooster!
User avatar
neuro
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2620
Joined: 25 Jun 2010
Location: italy


Re: did anyone notice this psychology experiment?

Postby Inchworm on April 5th, 2016, 8:48 am 

He's changing my neuron's idea all the time for nothing. He's probably checking out if I can get more intelligent. : )
User avatar
Inchworm
Member
 
Posts: 589
Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Location: Val-David, Quebec, Canada



Return to Behavioral Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron