Evolution: Ask me anything

Discussion in 'The Sanctuary' started by AliceHouse, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    Get yer edumacation on, ye darn yokels.

    Ask me anything, and I'll explain without being condescending. Or I'll try, at least, not talking down to anyone. (When you're as awesome as I am, it's hard not to point out to commoners and peasants what common peasants they are.
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  2. Dex Luis

    Dex Luis Dextilla The Hunk

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    Ugh.

    If you have questions about evolution, talk to Ghet or Riz.

    Not some overconfident autodidact.
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  3. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    Overconfident autodidact? My dear, you say that like it's a bad thing. Now, I must repeat, get off my clit. Your obsession with me is unbecoming of a gentleman like yourself. I know, I know, I'm awesome. But maybe you should get in touch with your Roman roots and and attempt to mount one of your brother's in arms instead.
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  4. Radium

    Radium f k

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    hey i want to talk about this and i have been thinking about it a lot but i dont know anybody who would want to talk about it too

    a. what is the functional importance of the fovea and the ventral stream in the primary visual cortex vis a vis dopaminergic pathways b. what things in the external environment do you think evolved to run through this fovea-ventral stream-dopaminergic system conducively c. what ways does this fvd relay system emerge in humanity at large over time
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  5. Sir Bustalot

    Sir Bustalot I am Jesus

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    was just about to ask these same questions
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  6. M-theory

    M-theory Saint Esprit

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    Yeah I'm glad someone asked all this. It's been on my mind since Friday.
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  7. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    That's really more philosophical question than a scientific one. Still, it's different, you're different, and I like it.

    Now, as I understand it, the ventral stream is responsible for identifying the things we see. The fovea is the part of the eye responsible for fine details and descriminating colors. So if I'm understanding you correctly, you're essentially asking why looking at things make us feel good. I imagine you're familiar with Pavlov's dog, yes? He rings a bell which acts as the stimulus, and 'rewards' the dog with food. So does the stimulus-reward system work with visual stimulus? As I understand, yes. While I don't have access to fMRI scans to prove this, there have been studies with rhesus monkies which demonstrated this. The conclusion being that the more attention you pay to a stimulus, the better your visual perception is and the more effective your visual cortex is at processing it. And also when a visual signal becomes associated with a reward, it affects our processing of that visual signal.

    So how is the fovea and ventral stream related to dopaminergic pathways? Shucks if I know. Between them (mesolimbic, mesocortical, nigrostriatal, and tuberoinfundibular) I aint much entirely sure which one is directly linked to the visual cortex. But, to be fair, I don't call myself an optometrist either. Coincidentlly, I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer to this either.

    Now, your second question is a bit confusing because of wording. But to me it sounds like you're asking what external forces outside of humans have evolved to make it so humans see pretty things they enjoy pretty things. Or... you're asking why humans have taken a liking to these external factors and what caused them to evolve that way. If it's the former, than many things. For the fovea's designed, it's conducive for staring. Birds, flowers, clouds, all these things in of themselves relax a person. However, this wouldn't be direct evolution. Birds and flowers did not evolve for the direct pleasure of humans, but rather for their own personal mating. I would argue though that the ventral stream works the way it does in a positive manner to release dopamine because of our own species mating process. Which, essentially, I mean boobs and penis. I mean, have you looked at them?

    If you mean the latter, that would be more philosophical than scientific. But also, I'm not entirely sure if I can answer the second question or the third question. But only because I don't see "ventral stream-dopaminergic system" being a thing. While there is a link between visual processing and the release of dopamine, it's not a direct one. Which is to say, I can't answer how something evolved if it doesn't actually exist. The connections however are still being studied.

    Still, evolution is a process. One thing you might find interesting is regarding the fovea and it's ability to discriminate colors. As it turns out, humans didn't always process all the colors we do now. There are a variety of languages which demonstrate that many people have difficulty distinguishing green and blue. And it is theorized to have an evolutionary reasoning behind this. That our ability to see color is directly associated with our language.
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  8. TheBigPayback

    TheBigPayback God Particle

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    How does evolution come into play
    if the reality of life is like we are begining to understand actually just an atomic figment of our collective consciousness.
    and if thats true how do other animals and forms of life experience this without a self consciousness
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  9. Radium

    Radium f k

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    thanks guys yeah me too. thanks alice i think that was really neat

    i became really interested in the fovea as i was reading the neuropsychology of 3D space by fred previc and his theory about how we render external space in the brain. i became interested in his work because of its relevance to engulfment and engulfment avoidance specifically the neuroanatomical relevance of peripersonal systems and the lower visual field immediately surrounding the body to engulfment and the neuroanatomical relevance of extrapersonal systems and the upper visual field which is generally fixated on greater distances to engulfment avoidance, which according to previc would tend to run through the dorsal and ventral parts of the brain, respectively. i was intrigued by this dorsal-ventral dichotomy of peripersonal and extrapersonal space and its division of functions and possibly its similarity to the dichotomy of engulfment and engulfment avoidance behavior. here is a really quick popsci overview on previc and his 4 realmed model of 3D space http://neuropolitics.org/defaultfeb08.asp

    the neuropsychology of 3D space
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/26321720/Neuropsychology-of-3-D-space
    [​IMG]

    now why the fovea is interesting is because of what previc called focal extrapersonal space and the function that the fovea has in powering it. focal extrapersonal space is a football shaped zone that sits out in the central visual field and has a minimum radial extent of 10-20 cm and a maximum radial extent between 2-6 m, beyond which resolvability of visual targets degrades rapidly. the major function of focal extrapersonal space is to search for and recognize objects, faces, and other relevant visual targets in the external environment such as a bright red fruit hanging down from a tree or encoding highly detailed and specific symbols found inside of words, musical notes, and numerical expressions.

    the ability to render visual targets in focal extrapersonal space is handled largely by the fovea due to its specialized capacity for high resolution imaging. the human eye scans any general area of interest by way of continuous, jerky movements called saccades, which are routes of movements the eye must make to trace the fovea over any general area of interest as represented by focal extrapersonal space to any highly detailed points of interest that are contained in it which is a process that can be experienced when playing games like chess and where's waldo

    [​IMG]
    saccadic routes and points of interest over a human face

    hence the fovea is like an extremely tiny nozzle headed vaccum cleaner that is constantly sucking in huge amounts of visual data by a process of saccadic scanning in focal extrapersonal space by converting the light that is always falling onto it into electro-chemical signals and sending it down a tube called the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. my hypothesis is that when this collected data is sent to the primary visual cortex it starts a process in the ventral stream which is in essence a kind of special chamber that ultimately converts these electro-chemical signals into analogues, which can then be stored in short term and long term memory as part of a larger interactive analogy matrix. the link between this analogy matrix and the dompaminergic pathways is mysterious to me though i know that they must have some way to communicate eg a primate targets a bright red fruit hanging down from a tree in its focal extrapersonal space and must therefore have some way to want to eat it once it renders its point in space; that is it must render the bright red fruit not just as a point in its focal extrapersonal space but also as a reward and these sets of data must be compounded together interactively in some kind of an analogy matrix. i was hoping you may have some kind of insight about that maybe something related to the limbic system and memory or something like that that i am not aware about it would really speed me through this

    now i have some more questions for you: a. you note the evolutionary significance of breast and penis size as conducively running through the fovea-ventral stream-dopaminergic system but what was the evolutionary significance of the fvd system vis a vis eyebrows on the human face which is the only primate or animal that possesses this trait b. does skin tone support the capacity of the fovea to scan the eyebrows and other facial points of interest to conducively pass through the fvd system c. does a capacity to run objects through the fvd system more conducively increase the amount of analogues related to dopamine in the brain and is this an advantage d. do these dopaminergic analogues begin to stack on top of each other to produce a successively cascaded hierarchy of rewarding analogues in order of most to least in the brain thereby influencing highly specific reward seeking behavior

    your insight on language and color scanning is really really interesting specifically the link between the highly specialized color imaging and character and symbol encoding preformed in the fovea. these functions should seem to be joined in some way. that was a really good point to introduce. im going to try to think about that some more

    thanks
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
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  10. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    Could you rephrase that so that it makes sense? Because what you just wrote was not a valid sentence.
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  11. Sir Bustalot

    Sir Bustalot I am Jesus

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    is it a proven scientific fact that animals dont have a conscience?
    i know for a fact that there is several animals that have been proven to have recognition of self. But thats only valid if you use self recognition as a sign of a conscience. Some scientists argue self recognition doesnt necessarily mean they have a conscience. Some scientists say that self preservation signals signs of a conscience. If self preservation is the marker, then almost every living thing we know about has a conscience. Even plant life and bugs.

    animals have been found to seek pleasurable experiences. Is the act of seeking out something that makes you feel good a sign of a conscience? some think so. Some dont

    and to answer your question though, if reality was a created though our collective consciousness animals and plants would just be apart of the reality we created. One school of thoght would be they are just "elements of the game" that weve created... Another would be that maybe we are created through the collective thoughts of animals and plants?
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  12. Twamp

    Twamp proper weaponry

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    Alice, nobody here thinks you're smart. stop it.
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  13. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    Nobody thinks of you. Ever.
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