2002-04-17 – Is the Brain a Digital Computer? Can frogs think?

Totally not my work, but a fascinating read by one of the leaders in the field. It is here.It makes for an interesting discussion. I thought the part talking about the frog’s level of consciousness was fascinating, and it seems that a frog has four visual responses:

  • Is-small-dark-and-moving? (Is-fly?)
  • Is-big-and-moving!
  • Is-big-and-was-moving!
  • Where-is-darker?
    If threatened, a frog simply jumps towards where is darker!
    From http://www.janushead.org/gwu-2001/staal.cfm: “What kind of knowledge does the frog possess? Not conscious knowledge like some of ours. The frog needs to know whether there is a fly, not what is a fly, the kind of knowledge a human zoologist seeks. An amphibian Aristotle or Heidegger could declare: ‘we are concerned only with the existence of flies: THAT THEY ARE, not with their essence: WHAT THEY ARE.'”Before you ask, yes, the same experiments have been done with toads, and pigeons, and various other animals. See http://www.pigeon.psy.tufts.edu/ecp.htm for more!


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