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University of Guelph
PSYC 3100
Hank Davis

PSYC 3100 – Week 4 Lecture 7 – October 1, 2012 - Human genome that researches sequence at end of century – doesn’t really exist as we know it - Very little, if any, stuff in the human genome that is non-functional - probably 0 Epigenetics – new findings suggest number of new gene mutations in children rises dramatically with age of father at conception You do not want to eliminate mutations Sexual reproduction vs. Asexual reproduction (cloning) - Our way of reproducing – 2 partners coming together to create new organism – not the only way it happens on the planet - Asexual = single-celled organisms, plants, insects, fish, reptiles, etc. - Sexual mating strategies are costly – yet 99% of higher organisms are sexual – Why? o If sexual reproduction is, in a sense, bad for the individual than you want to say that it is good for the group – pointed to group selection – don’t want to go there o Biggest, best argument in favour of sexual reproduction is that it throws tremendous amount of genetic variation into pot – is that enough justification? - Asexual is easier – don’t have to worry about finding a partner, waste of time, no break up of perfectly serviceable genome - In species who can reproduce either way (snails, fish, etc) start off with cloning until a parasite is introduced, once parasite in population becomes sexual reproduction o “If no parasites existed in this world, cloning would take over” o Clones are easy pickings for parasites – no genetic variability - Is pleasure enough to anchor sexual reproduction in the world?? How efficient DNA is at coding info - Every single cell in your body contains all the information it takes to rebuild YOU – redundant coding, remarkable system in terms of depth of information in a tiny piece of substrate - Researchers coded book into DNA demonstrating possibility of using that molecule of DNA for long term data storage Chapter 4 – Sensation and Perception Sensation - Modularity - brain is not general purpose computer, nowhere is idea of modularity clearer than in senses and how they work – each sense is self-contained system – specialized receptor, brain tissue to support it o You can close your eyes and sniff all you want, but you’re still not going to get anything visual – It’s modular! - Natural selection – incredibly uptight efficiency expert, if they don’t pull weight (expensive to maintain), NS will say “excuse me, that one there is gone, too costly to maintain” – efficiency expert from hell - Vision – important information – fish with no eyes that lives on bottom of ocean where all light is gone, therefore doesn’t need eyes because cant see anything down there anyway - Olfaction – a lot of olfactory experience is unconscious – a lot of people don’t like that o Can you detect ovulation? Perception - Imagine yourself walking down country road, as you walk ahead you see dead cat by the side of road, looks like it was hit by a car a few days ago. Take a stick and turn it over – full of maggots - Imagine path in woods, turns into stream, turns into waterfall o Do you believe that one image is inherently ugly, and one image is inherently beautiful - Our perceptions do not necessarily reflect what is out there – reflect how it gets filtered through and interpreted by us - Easy to say that human mind really is pattern detector, an illusion generator, constantly flooded with information – visual, auditory, conceptual, olfactory, etc. – and it has to do something with that information Pattern is… There Not there Did you see it? Yes Yes Delusion No Get killed Yes Lecture 8 – October 3, 2012 (Chapter 4) - Natural selection does not care that your belief system is accurate or not - Delusion example: very easy to see faces in a cloud - Differences between you and four year old is that you can say that “looks” like a face in the cloud, but you don’t fall to your knees and start praying - Facial recognition o Emoticons  Just need a simple colon and parentheses to define the mood of a person o We need to be able to extract that cluster (eyes, nose, mouth) because we have a nurture circuitry  This is the reason our species
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