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13

I'd like to know what is the reference for amoebic learning. I cannot comment directly on this, but there is some evidence for "adaptive anticipation" in both prokaryotes and single-celled Eukaryotes which do not have a nervous system. In the case of E. coli, it has been shown that the bacteria can anticipate the environment it is about to enter. E. coli ...


7

In addition to the excellent response up top (by Poshpaws), one can also imagine how these systems work by looking at recent synthetic examples of single-celled organism memory. It is possible to design various bistable switches using protein pathways, RNAi, or other means that will latch a particular state. In that way, an organism could effectively ...


6

There is a very simple experiment you can do that will demonstrate that animals prioritize. Give a dog two bones. Preferably one which is more tasty than the other. Say one has more meat on it. The dog cannot eat both at once and you will observe it choosing one over the other. This is a clear example of prioritization. Again with a dog, try observing one ...


6

Three possible mechanisms are mentioned in the first referenced article [1]: Attentional blink - the failure to detect a (visual) stimulus [2]. Visual short-term memory - non-permanent storage of visual information over an extended period of time [3]. Psychological refractory period - the period of time during which the response to a second stimulus is ...


6

The storage of memories in cells is rarely thought of on the protein level of the cell. Cells are usually given a developmental state, but no memory. A cell may become a liver cell, cancerous, or diabetic, but this is not memory, but a physiological change in the cell which is usually not reversible to a previous state. For example cancer treatments are ...


5

It's very likely that memory is "lossy" and holographic, such that you can keep adding more information indefinitely, but retain it with less and less accuracy. Memory isn't a digital storage system with X gigabytes of capacity, and the inputs to memory aren't neat little packets. What we remember are a web of associations and patterns. Vastly ...


4

Someone is almost sure to prove me wrong about 30 seconds after I post this, but I don't think that the mechanistic aspects of learning are really all that well known in these study systems. The idea that it is occurring at all is recent enough (I've enjoyed Tanya Latty's Ph.D. work on this, for instance: http://www.tanyalatty.com/Home/research) that I ...


2

All species of the genus Homo were able to plan stone tool manufacture in a way that suggests the ability to prioritize and follow steps to an envisioned end form.


2

If you're interested in understanding the maintenance of state, history, and information, I would look at hysteresis. The classic biophysics model for studying hysteresis has been the Lambda phage which has been extensively detailed in Mark Ptashne's A Genetic Switch



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