Dear Self Interested Ontologists,
Here is a relevant quote from an experiment on fusing individual
yeast cells into multicellular organisms through controlling the environment and
applying artificial selection methods:
the ultimate in cooperation,” said Travisano, who wants to understand how
cooperation emerges in selfishly competing organisms. “Multiple cells
make up an individual that cooperates for the benefit of the whole. Sometimes
cells give up their ability to reproduce for the benefit of close kin.”
Since the late 1990s,
experimental evolution studies have attempted to induce multicellularity in
laboratory settings. While some fascinating entities have evolved —
Richard Lenski’s kaleidoscopically adapting E. coli, Paul Rainey’s
visible-to-the-naked-eye bacterial biofilms — true multicellularity
According to Travisano,
too much emphasis was placed on identifying some genetic essence of complexity.
The new study suggests that environmental conditions are paramount: Give
single-celled organisms reason to go multicellular, and they will.
Here is the URL for the whole article:
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
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[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of doug foxvog
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 7:33 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Self
> Dear Doug,
> Recently, you asked if emotions might be
> by invertebrates. Intrigued with the
> have found an explanation of how the fruit fly
> (Drosophila) can be used to experiment with
> emotional behaviors. The article's title
> 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."
Presumably, they mean a stimulus that in vertebrates
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
changes to take place?
The logic of the above argument is certainly
EMOT1 (in mammals)
STIM1 => PHYS_CH1
STIM2 => PHYS_CH1
EMOT1 (in Drosophila)
> 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, ....
> ... suggests there are eight basic adaptive
> (incorporation, rejection, protection,
> destruction, reproduction, reintegration,
> orientation, and exploration) that are
> 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.
On what basis do they make this claim of possibility?
> ... the potential
> for fruit flies to be used to study anxiety and
> depression has been stated several times
> ... To date, Drosophila has been successfully
> as a model system to elucidate molecular,
> physiological, and behavioral mechanisms of
> several human neurodegenerative diseases,
> including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and
How does this relate to emotion?
malfunctions in a brain.
> 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 ...
Evolution normally adapts existing chemical pathways
purposes. I would be surprised if emotions
receptors, and neurotransmitter systems that existed
in no other
animal and that had no other biological function than
> 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.
If you wish to understand genetic and cellular
mechanisms, it is
useful to study a simpler system that has the same
My understanding of the properties of the foundation
my house can be vastly improved by studying a
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
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.
i did not read all of the attached articles, but the
part that you
provided no suggestion that Drosophila has emotions.
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
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.
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.
> The complete article is located at:
> Rich Cooper
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
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