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 Bees and Brains 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:16 pm
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Post Bees and Brains
This reminds me a bit about my theory of thinking - maybe I'll explain that sometime.

But anyway, this is interesting:

Quote:
Bees choose by doing 'neuron' dance: study

(AFP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — Honey bees do a little dance to communicate with each other that mimics signals in the brain, a finding that may shed light on how Earth's creatures make choices, scientists said Thursday.

"The decision-making mechanisms in nervous systems and insect societies are strikingly similar," said the study in the December 8 issue of Science Express.

In the brain, as scientists have discovered in previous studies on monkeys, lots of neurons activate when there is a decision to be made.

Eventually, some neurons stop others from activating, and the alternative with the fewest "no" signals is chosen.

Now a US-British team led by Thomas Seeley of Cornell University in New York state has shown that honey bees act out this neuron dance when they are communicating with each other about where to set up their hive.

Researchers set off a swarm of honey bees on an island off the coast of the northeastern state of Maine, where there were no natural places to nest, and put out two identical boxes where they could nest.

They watched as the scout bees visited the potential new homes, shot video of their waggle dances by which they describe what they found to each other, and even took sound recordings of small stop signals -- a short head butt accompanied by a buzz sound -- that some of the bees made.

By keeping track of which bees had visited which box by marking them pink or yellow, they were able to tell that stop signals were delivered by scouts who had already seen a box and were being told about a different box by another bee.

"The message the sender scout is conveying to the dancer appears to be that the dancer should curb her enthusiasm, because there is another nest site worthy of consideration," said co-author P. Kirk Visscher of the University of California, Riverside.

"Such an inhibitory signal is not necessarily hostile. It's simply saying, 'Wait a minute, here's something else to consider, so let's not be hasty in recruiting every bee to a site that may not be the best one for the swarm.'"

Bees swarm when they are leaving an overcrowded hive in search of a new home, toting along their mother Queen.

Scout bees go look for new potential hive sites, and return to the group which typically stays near the original hive until a new one is found.

To tell the other bees about what is out there, a dancing bee will make figure eight shapes and waggle moves -- the length of the waggle tells how far the new hive is.

The number of scouts who like a certain site eventually reaches a critical level, and the swarm takes off for its new home.

Since all bees share a common interest in choosing the best available site, researchers believe the process helps the group decide, even when the options are the nearly the same.

"These inhibitory connections help ensure that only one of the alternatives is chosen and may enable statistically optimal decision making," the study said.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... b29bef.551

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:22 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
This reminds me a bit about my theory of thinking - maybe I'll explain that sometime.

Go for it Jack! If it sounds useful then I might be able to get a reliable third opinion from one of the geniuses at Kurzweil-Accelerating Intelligence.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
This reminds me a bit about my theory of thinking - maybe I'll explain that sometime.


Since you teed it up, I'll go ahead and drive it down the fairway by asking; what is your theory of thinking?

Let's hear it.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
I assure you, Gary won't like it! :)

But thanks for playing - maybe I'll make time to put it in a nutshell ...

Oh well, here's the nutshell: it's an neuronal internalization of evolutionary mechanisms writ small: competing ideas are subject to internal natural selection via feedback from the consequences of following them. Imagination (at the subconscious, neuronal level) is the fuel that provides the variation. Intelligence arises from the interplay of all the neuronal connections, much as seemingly designed creatures arise from evolution.

It's a web that has no weaver: no person is in charge of the thinking. We experience the results of this activity, and come to identify with the patterns

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Last edited by Jack Krebs on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
I assure you, Gary won't like it! :)

If it is original theory that helps explain how cognition works then I will be interested. But of course that all depends on how you operationally define "thinking" and whether you are actually able to add useful knowledge to what is already known.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
I assure you, Gary won't like it! :)

But thanks for playing - maybe I'll make time to put it in a nutshell ...

Oh well, here's the nutshell: it's an neuronal internalization of evolutionary mechanisms writ small: competing ideas are subject to internal natural selection via feedback from the consequences of following them. Imagination (at the subconscious, neuronal level) is the fuel that provides the variation. Intelligence arises from the interplay of all the neuronal connections, much as seemingly deigned creatures arise from evolution.

It's a web that has no weaver: no person is in charge of the thinking. We experience the results of this activity, and come to identify with the patterns


Here is a book you might want to read. A friend once recommended it to me after we had a long talk about this sort of thing one day, so I have a copy - although I must say I found it an extremely difficult read.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Well, right off the bat I'd say that looks pretty interesting, and it quite something that you know about it.

My guess is that my theory and the book are both only half-baked. Reading the reviews at Amazon seems to confirm that: the book is an ambitious attempt to describe, more metaphorically and qualitatively rather than quantitatively, how a mosaic of actual physical neurons work to explore and stabilize ideas. I might be interesting in taking a look at the book. My thoughts on teh matter are very vague, and I've never tried to articulate them (and I'm no neurobiologist.) I have, however, explored my own consciousness through various non-western practices, and feel strongly that what we experience as the conscious "I" is not as our common western culture takes it to be.

By the way, I really agree with this line from the blurb: "Jung said that dreaming goes on continuously but you can't see it when you are awake, just as you can't see the stars in the daylight because it is too bright." This is what I meant when I said imagination is the variation upon which the natural selection process works in the brain.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
it's an neuronal internalization of evolutionary mechanisms writ small: competing ideas are subject to internal natural selection via feedback from the consequences of following them. Imagination (at the subconscious, neuronal level) is the fuel that provides the variation. Intelligence arises from the interplay of all the neuronal connections, much as seemingly deigned creatures arise from evolution.

Now that I can see what you have, I have to honestly say there's no doubt you're not the first to come up with that one. Seems relatively common among those with little or no experience in cognitive science or AI, including someone in another forum who hounded me for around a year for not having natural selection in the David Heiserman based computer model. When I asked to identify it in the circuit diagram, I received entirely different answers from the ones who were certain they had it all figured out. :lol:

Cognitive models definitely have to account for the way the circuit is wired, like this that has the same features as the model I needed to operationally define intelligence:

Image

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:10 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Gary writes, "Seems relatively common among those with little or no experience in cognitive science ..."

As the kids say, lol.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:25 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Jack Krebs wrote:
Gary writes, "Seems relatively common among those with little or no experience in cognitive science ..."

As the kids say, lol.

I’m sure you could fudge the science enough get some kids to believe that Modern Synthesis is the best explanation for how a brain works. Maybe also explain meteorology and gravity to them that way too. But ones who know what works for theory already know about EAMI and already have awesome testable models/robots that are created using applicable/accepted scientific terminology.

Cognitive scientists already on occasion try to make parallels to Modern Synthesis, might even say it only figures that they at some point try, just to see what happens. And if that was all anyone needed then everyone would already be talking about that instead, not confuse things with Hebbian Theory and Social Learning Theory and dozens more.

None in the field need rudimentary analogies that try to reinvent the wheel just for the political gain of a world-view that revolves around one theory while neglecting the rest. And future accomplished cognitive scientists are now upgrading the years old 5-globe Intelligence Generator to an Intelligence Design Lab and getting into this and other related things these days:

Image

Replacing whatever cognitive science was in the classroom with another repetition of an explain-all now used for origin of all in the universe would certainly help make your science easier to teach. But that’s only making science followers, not science leaders, who are now even empowered with what the Discovery Institute had. No way laughing kids repeating the usual mutation and natural selection lines all over again can beat ones who understand how the circuit works and can program their own models even make the once thought impossible real, from what they have to learn outside the classroom because of that normally being politically incorrect for public schools to teach.

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Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:41 am
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Honey Trivia

How many flowers must honey bees tap to make one pound of honey?
About two million flowers, give or take.

How far does a hive of bees fly to bring you one pound of honey?
More than 55,000 miles.

How much honey does the average worker honey bee make in her lifetime?
About 1/12 of a teaspoon.

How fast does a honey bee fly?
About 15 miles per hour.

How much honey would it take to fuel a bee’s flight around the world?
About one ounce (or two Tablespoons); no carry-on luggage is allowed!

How many sides does each honeycomb cell have?
Each cell is a six-sided hexagon.

What is the U.S. per capita consumption of honey?
On average, each person consumes about 1.3 pounds per year.h.

How many wings does a honey bee have?
Each honey bee has four wings.

How many beekeepers are there in the United States?
USDA has estimated that there are between 139,600 and 212,000 beekeepers in the United States. Most are hobbyists with less than 25 hives.

How many honey-producing colonies of bees are there in the United States?
The USDA estimates that there are approximately 2.68 million honey producing colonies in the United States. This estimate is based on beekeepers who managed five or more colonies in 2010.

How many flowers does a honey bee visit during one collection trip?
A worker bee visits about 50-100 flowers during each trip.

How do honey bees "communicate" with one another?
They communicate by "dancing." Honey bees do a dance which alerts other bees where nectar and pollen are located. The dance explains direction and distance. Bees also communicate with pheromones, a unique odor common to the particular beehive.

"if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live". Albert Einstein


Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:50 am
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Which came first the bees or the plants that needed the bees for pollination. And how many millions of years between the two?


Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
Quote:
Which came first the bees or the plants that needed the bees for pollination. And how many millions of years between the two?


I suspect you know the answer (co-evolution), but are trying to make a point of some kind. Am I correct?


Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
The only point he is making, I think, is that he doesn't care a whit about what science says about any of it, he doesn't believe it, and that's that.

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Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Bees and Brains
ABO wrote:
Which came first the bees or the plants that needed the bees for pollination. And how many millions of years between the two?

If I use the Theory of Intelligent Design for answering the questions then the requirement of "something to control" would first make the bee necessary for plants to adapt to exclusively using them to transfer their pollen. The bee would have probably first had self-pollinating plants and other food sources to control. Where the operational definition of a "bee" is a nectar gathering insect the time between the two would be zero years due to both beginning to control each other the moment the first of these insects discovered nectar inside of flowers, while plants that absolutely need the bees would have come later because of being something that the bee created much the same way we created agricultural crops by favoring and helping to grow the most tasty high-yield varieties.

If I use the Evolutionary Synthesis paradigm for answering the questions then like Harry the best I can do is just give it the name "co-evolution" instead of providing useful answers. :D

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Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:58 pm
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