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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:33:01 -0500
Message-id: <ba813287934dd73c8fe95b4e90ae2add.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Dear Doug,    (01)

> Recently, you asked if emotions might be expressed
> by invertebrates.  Intrigued with the question, I
> have found an explanation of how the fruit fly
> (Drosophila) can be used to experiment with
> emotional behaviors.  The article's title is: "The
> Genetic Basis of Emotional Behavior: Has the Time
> Come for a Drosophila Model?".
> ...
> "... the only question that
> remains unresolved is whether flies exhibit some
> physiological changes caused by an
> emotion-provoking stimulus."    (02)

Presumably, they mean a stimulus that in vertebrates provokes emotion.
A sexual stimulus provokes emotion in vertebrates.  A sexual stimulus
causes physiological changes in Drosophila that leads to mating behavior.
Does this mean that an emotion must exist in order for the physiological
changes to take place?    (03)

The logic of the above argument is certainly non-standard:
    STIM1 => EMOT1        (in mammals)
    STIM1 => PHYS_CH1   (in mammals)
    STIM2 => PHYS_CH1   (in Drosophila)
    STIM2 => EMOT1        (in Drosophila)    (04)

> The classification of the emotions is another
> question still under debate. Many researchers
> define some emotions as basic or primary, whereas
> others are complex. According to the Ekman ...
> six basic emotions that
> appear to be innate: happiness, sadness, disgust,
> fear, anger, and surprise. Panksepp
> distinguishes four basic emotional response
> patterns: panic, rage, expectancy, and fear, .... Plutchik
> ... suggests there are eight basic adaptive reactions
> (incorporation, rejection, protection,
> destruction, reproduction, reintegration,
> orientation, and exploration) that are prototypes,
> single or in combination, of all emotions.
> ...
> present in flies. However, emotions such as fear
> and anger, which underlie anxiety and depression,
> may, indeed, be there.    (05)

On what basis do they make this claim of possibility?    (06)

> ... the potential
> for fruit flies to be used to study anxiety and
> depression has been stated several times    (07)

> ... To date, Drosophila has been successfully used
> as a model system to elucidate molecular,
> physiological, and behavioral mechanisms of
> several human neurodegenerative diseases,
> including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and
> Huntington's ...    (08)

How does this relate to emotion?  Neurodegeneration causes
malfunctions in a brain.    (09)

> Remarkably, Drosophila shares with rodents and
> humans essential neurochemical substrates (e.g.,
> specific receptors, enzymes signaling proteins,
> and neurotransmitter systems), which are involved
> in the control and regulation of emotional
> behavior ...    (010)

Evolution normally adapts existing chemical pathways for new
purposes.  I would be surprised if emotions required enzymes,
receptors, and neurotransmitter systems that existed in no other
animal and that had no other biological function than emotion.    (011)

> All these findings suggest that our
> understanding of the genetic and cellular
> mechanisms underlying emotional behavior can be
> vastly improved by using the fruit fly as a
> genetically tractable model system.    (012)

If you wish to understand genetic and cellular mechanisms, it is
useful to study a simpler system that has the same mechanisms.    (013)

My understanding of the properties of the foundation underlying
my house can be vastly improved by studying a foundation constructed
in the same way with loads of rocks where the walls are and pipes with
the appropriate properties passing through at comparable positions.  I
need not construct a new house above it.  Such a model can help me
understand the foundational system, allowing me to determine limits
to what it can support.  But that does not mean that the model explains
the structure which the foundation of my house supports, nor does it
suggest that the load borne by the model has many features of the
load borne by my foundation.    (014)

i did not read all of the attached articles, but the part that you
provided no suggestion that Drosophila has emotions.    (015)

For an argument that insects might have emotion, i expected a discussion
of wasps or bees being "angered" by a disruption of their hive, ants
similarly protecting their hills, or maybe frightened cockroaches fleeing
human predators.  In each case, the activity is instinctual and ingrained,
and need have nothing to do with emotion.  Such instinctual activity would
have to be neurochemically mediated.  In animals whose brains are more
advanced, such "fight or flight" chemical pathways, would be developed
further, at some point becoming associated with emotions -- when brain
activity can finally be labeled emotional.    (016)

Imho, the supporting structures (e.g., chemical pathways) come first and
the features built upon them (e.g., emotions) come later.  The existence
of the features in some animal may imply the existence of the support
structures, but existence of the support structures does not necessarily
imply the existence of the features.    (017)

-- doug    (018)

> The complete article is located at:
> http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.1080/01677060802471650    (019)

> -Rich
> Sincerely,
> Rich Cooper
> EnglishLogicKernel.com
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
> 9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
>   ...    (020)

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