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[ontolog-forum] Fruit fly emotions mimic human emotions - ontology disco

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <metasemantics@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 12:32:47 -0700
Message-id: <021f01d091a1$6c762a70$45627f50$@com>

Ontologists All,


If fruit flies can and do indeed exhibit all the "component" emotions that humans can and do exhibit, then the fruit flies could be investigated as subjects in experiments about emotions, and about possible pharmaceutical candidates, related to emotional disturbances. 


Here is a quote from a Cal Tech lab report:


"These experiments provide objective evidence that visual stimuli designed to mimic an overhead predator can induce a persistent and scalable internal state of defensive arousal in flies, which can influence their subsequent behavior for minutes after the threat has passed," Anderson says. "For us, that's a big step beyond just casually intuiting that a fly fleeing a visual threat must be 'afraid,' based on our anthropomorphic assumptions. It suggests that the flies' response to the threat is richer and more complicated than a robotic-like avoidance reflex."


The report doesn't identify which emotional "components" they "observed" in fruit flies after simulating existential threats to the flies.  But I would expect Cal Tech professors to get their ducks in a straight row fairly often since Pasadena is so far from the surf.  Here is the report from their web site:




Would it be possible to automate an evoked response that demonstrates each emotional state designated by the professor as a "component"?  If so, would it then be possible to write an ontology discovery program that explores that space using a buncha fruit flies crossed with a buncha experimental situations? 


It would only have to start with the observed components' emotional effects.  Then that information could be used to design specialized and generalized experiments to produce more organized behaviors.  The experiments, specializations and generalizations would, of course, form some kind of lattice in the end if all components can be observed. 


That could also be a way to work on identifying which of the emotional "components" are truly fundamental to those of us who are descended from the fruit fly.  Perhaps even emotional illnesses, such as schizophrenia, OCD, bipolarity, etc. could be matched to new drugs based on this emotion research in flies. 


But the first step is in creating an ontology that might be observed in other fruit flies, but varied due to their individual genetic divergences. 


Suggestions anyone?



Rich Cooper,

Rich Cooper,


Chief Technology Officer,

MetaSemantics Corporation

MetaSemantics AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

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