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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fruit fly emotions mimic human emotions - ontology d

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <metasemantics@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 16:44:09 -0700
Message-id: <025f01d091c4$8a289f80$9e79de80$@com>

Dear John and Ravi,


Please see below,



Rich Cooper,

Rich Cooper,


Chief Technology Officer,

MetaSemantics Corporation

MetaSemantics AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

( 9 4 9 ) 5 2 5-5 7 1 2



-----Original Message-----
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Fruit fly emotions mimic human emotions - ontology discovery possible?




Thanks for the references:


> http://www.caltech.edu/news/do-fruit-flies-have-emotions-46769


> Here is a TEDx talk by the same professor (David Anderson):


> http://tedxcaltech.caltech.edu/content/david-anderson


One point that Anderson makes confirms a claim that I have often

repeated:  there is a huge amount of diversity or heterogeneity in the way different parts of the brain works


RC: And plasticity - extreme damage, such as hemispherectomies, done when patients are young enough, don't even stop the development of very normal behaviors, all handled in the remaining half of the brain.  Even older stroke patients often recover some of the lost capabilities through relearning them. 


Anderson noted that the same chemical -- dopamine in this case -- had very different effects in different parts of the brain.  A pill that increases or decreases dopamine levels in all parts of the brain would be a very crude tool.


RC: I wasn't planning to use it, in that way or in any other way.  I am interested in the emotions, their interrelationships, and math models of how they work in a library of situations.  I haven't gotten into chemistry enough to play with dopamine; I don't even like to cook. 



> 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?


Note what he said:  if you consider dopamine level as a feature or component, it's going to have different effects on different circuits.

Any theory based on a weighted sum of inputs (as many neural networks and related methods do) is going to be a very gross oversimplification.

It might give useful results for some purposes, but not for others.


RC: I don't plan to diddle it with dopamine.  I am looking for an algorithm that could, with sizeable numbers of fruit flies, and sizeable numbers of situations experimentally simulated to the flies, elicit the ontology of the fruit fly's response CLASS TYPEs through observing the behavior of the fruit flies.  Those TYPEs make up the ontology, along with a little inferential wisdom, TBD. 


For anybody who wants to know more about the brains of insects and other arthropods, I recommend the following book:


    Strausfeld, Nicholas James (2012) Arthropod Brains: Evolution,

    Functional Elegance, and Historical Significance, Cambrdge, MA:

    Harvard University Press.


The price is $68.50 at Harvard U. P., Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

But it's beautifully illustrated -- it's like a technical coffee table book.


I did a bit of googling and found a recent discovery by Strausfeld:

> http://www.livescience.com/23862-oldest-arthropod-brain-complex.html


One of his colleagues had found a fossil of an arthropod that was 520 million years old.  While examining it, Strausfeld could see "the dark brown silhouette of preserved brain nestled in the arthropod's


> This complex, insectlike brain suggests that rather than insects

> arising from simple branchiopods, today's arthropods descend from a

> complex-brained ancestor. Branchiopods would later have shed some of

> this complexity, Strausfeld said, while other crustaceans and insects

> kept it. In fact, he said, the brain may have evolved to segment into

> three parts very early on; mammals, including humans, have a

> forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, suggesting a common organization.


If the overall structure has been preserved for over 500 million years, it must be important. 


RC: Agreed.  We don't yet understand the brain in part because we don't yet understand the role that emotion plays in individuals, or how they use emotions to create the drive to work in longer plans, more significant accomplishments, than the day to day behaviors, without such longer term plans.


Any claim that the brain is a homogenous lump with all neurons working in the same ways to do the same things must be oversimplified.  There may be some similar low-level mechanisms, but they perform different functions in different parts of the structure.


Bottom line:  Don't expect a "unified theory" based on a simple combination of features or components.




RC: But do use a simple framework of combinations of the common components to explore the emotion space.  It provides an enumerator for identifying components individually, and for grouping them in functionally known, named clusters.  That provides the brain a source of experiences to map out the context space in which all problems spread out.  That is the idea behind algebra, after all.  It should also work for emotions.  After all, they both can be very frustrating.  But there is always a reason behind emotions, even when it seems to be misplaced. 


RC: To enumerate the complexity of each response by each fly in each situation, each response can be analytically partitioned into which components of each emotion type are present.  Add that component's count within the partition so that a scalable sample can be formed. 


RC: That information should help inform observers about how to classify each response, without inessential and unnecessary anthropopathy. 




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