Snail may be able to sense gravity

Vastet
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Snail may be able to sense gravity

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All is gravity in this

All is gravity in this dimension ... I know not others ... I am stuck here and now, condemned.


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This just in, i can sense

This just in, i can sense gravity to


Vastet
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Yes, but you can't sense it

Yes, but you can't sense it so well as to know exactly how high in the air you are, now can you. Sticking out tongue

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Vastet wrote:Yes, but you

Vastet wrote:

Yes, but you can't sense it so well as to know exactly how high in the air you are, now can you. Sticking out tongue

Thats why i have eyes!

 

 

and a mouth to scream "AAAAAAH FUCKCKCKCKCK" as i plumet towards the ground

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Both of which a snail lacks.

Both of which a snail lacks. Poor bastards. Sad

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That's a neat puzzle to

That's a neat puzzle to solve.  I love hearing about the clever experiments scientists design to try to eliminate possibilities.  The thing I find interesting about this is how much we humans can do that might be considered extraordinary if an alien race were to visit us.

Consider that a human with good vision can recognize the mood another human is in at a distance of a hundred yards -- the length of an American football field!  Facial expressions are recognizable with only the eyes and eyebrows visible.

Speaking of football, the advanced math necessary to correctly calculate the trajectory of a football being thrown by a quarterback on the run to a running receiver, accounting for minute variations in wind and other environmental factors, is staggeringly difficult for most people, yet almost anyone can throw a football with a little practice.  Every weekend, we see amazing passes, and the humans who are throwing them probably have no idea how to do advanced math.

I guess what I'm saying is we're most impressed by things we can't do or do poorly.  Echolocation seems foreign to us because it's more or less beyond our capabilities.  The thing is, there are some animals who seem to sense the earth's magnetic field, and can use it to navigate.  To them, it must seem as easy as throwing a football to a human.  Yet, it's astonishing to us.

 

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Actually I did see a TV doco

Actually I did see a TV doco a month or so ago about this young guy who developed a disease which caused him to go blind (actually I think it was a cancer of some kind affecting his eyes which meant they both had to be removed) who essentially trained himself to navigate by sound. He carried some simple gadget which allowed him to make sharp clicks and build some sort of picture of his surroundings based on the pattern of sound he heard reflected back to him. He seemed to be able to sense from this the position of at least the larger objects around him. He could get around surprising well in places with plenty of objects around, such as inside a building with walls to reflect back. I didn't follow it up to see if it was for real, but it didn't seem particularly outrageous to me.

After all none of these skills are actually 'doing math' in the sense of formal operations on numbers, any more than a falling rock calculates what its velocity should be in the next instant. It is more like an old analogue computer where input voltages are adjusted in level and polarity and added together, or one used to control the level of another, to generate outputs that match adequately what is required. The player estimating the trajectory of a ball has presumably developed some network of neurones modelling the path of a thrown ball by a process of training.

It is a particular example of the training effect which applies pretty much to all those motor skills we need to survive. To creatures that move on four legs, our ability to stand and walk on two so easily must seem a miracle....

Contemplation of the ability of brains to do this sort of thing lead to the development of neural networks, which while still based on semiconductor devices, are set up to generate their ouputs by passing the inputs through many interconnected circuits which behave somewhat like actual neurones, in which the output 'fires' whenever the inputs reach some threshold. The inputs also include some which serve to inhibit firing if they are active.

They are "programmed" by putting them in "training" mode where they are exposed to a wide rang of inputs and given a signal back which indicates whether they got their response correct or not, and this signal is used to tweak the parameters levels of the various interconnections in an appropriate direction.

They can be quite effective at certain tasks, and much faster than circuits which explicitly apply conventional logic and numerical calculation to actually 'do the math'.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Echolocation seems foreign to us because it's more or less beyond our capabilities.   

More like less beyond our capabilities.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1QaCeosUmw

 

 

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Yeah, I've heard about the

Yeah, I've heard about the echolocation-like stuff that humans have done.  I hesitate to call that full blown echolocation, but the point is well made.  We're certainly capable of fine tuning our hearing to some degree, but there's no way that we can sense, say, a butterfly on the breeze twenty feet away, or a fish under the sand in the water.

 

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EXC, WOW, thanks,  that

EXC, WOW, thanks,  that video was neato. Teach this to the blind.


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We can sense gravity also,

We can sense gravity also, with our inner ears.

Sensing gravity and acceleration is a common ability in the animal kingdom; vertebrates have inner ears and many invertebrates have statocysts that do that. And that includes snails.

I suspect, however, that that snail would find it hard to tell the difference between high-tide and low-tide gravity, because the difference is less than 10^(-5).

However, that snail's circadian clock is likely synchronized with the coming and going of the tides, which suggests another experiment: disrupting its circadian clock.


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lpetrich wrote:We can sense

lpetrich wrote:

We can sense gravity also, with our inner ears.

Sensing gravity and acceleration is a common ability in the animal kingdom; vertebrates have inner ears and many invertebrates have statocysts that do that. And that includes snails.

I suspect, however, that that snail would find it hard to tell the difference between high-tide and low-tide gravity, because the difference is less than 10^(-5).

However, that snail's circadian clock is likely synchronized with the coming and going of the tides, which suggests another experiment: disrupting its circadian clock.

Our inner ears utilize gravity to create a sense of balance, not a sense of gravity.

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