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New Study Finds Insects May Have Basic Consciousness

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posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:50 PM
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Since insects have brain structures that are far simpler than our own. For instance, bees have less than 5 million neurons, as compared to the 100 billion in the human brain - this makes their neurology far easier to study. Using the insect's analogue to the human's midbrain, biologist Andrew Barron and philosophy professor Colin Klein have found that the activity being displayed there suggests that an individual insect has some sort of sense of itself within it's environment: where it is, what's around it, and how it needs to respond.


New Study Finds Insects May Have Basic Consciousness

Is this really a surprise to anyone? But it's good to see science is confirming these details about the lives and experiences of other organisms we share our planet with.

The human brain is much more complicated than that of a bee, but they are also conscious. An important little snippet from the article:



One must bear in mind that what is being referred to here as "consciousness" should not be confused with "sentience" -- the capacity for self-reflection that humans are capable of, and is associated with the neocortex, the much larger structure that makes up most of the human brain.


So it sounds like humans "neocortex" is what gives us that added layer of self-reflection and 'sentience', as the article described.

Not to go far off topic BUT with much happening in the field of genetic modification, gene splicing, stem cells, I wonder what might happen if scientists were able to alter a non-human organism so that their brain also developed this neocortex region. Could we communicate with it like we do with one another? Just some thoughts to mull over..

What do you think ATS? Is this a monumental find or nothing too significant?




posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:53 PM
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Of course bugs have an awareness. They react and respond to their environment...

I never thought they were organic robots?

I mean, what else would explain that bee that kept following me around this morning outisde? Bees seem to like me for some reason.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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Just because they are small doesn't mean they don't have feelings.

They run away in fear, they charge in anger, they defend their nest and nurture their 'brood', just like we do.

In fact they are better at working together than we are. Within their own hive or nest, whatever, you don't see them going around screwing each other over for a percentage.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Except carpenter ants. The Jeffrey Dahmer of ant species.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Can you imagine one group of bees firing honey against another group of bees, for more honey?

It's never going to happen, because unlike human beings, animals are not stupid.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I think bees and other non-human creatures are often more conscious than us humans. No, they can't speak like us or use tools, but how many people do we see "going through the motions" without actually reflecting on what they are doing.

We are often oblivious to our impact on the world around us and what impact we have on it as individuals.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:00 PM
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If you think that this will change my mind about annihilating any spiders, earwigs or flies that wander into my domicile, you're sadly mistaken.

A black widow could stand up on two legs and recite Shakespeare in front of me...I'd still whack her with a shovel.




posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: Jansy

Earwigs scare the hell out of me. But I'd still choose one as a friend over a lot of the folks who are avid [insert Presidential Candidate Name] supporters... lol



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:04 PM
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Humans are horrible at recognizing intelligence that doesn't mirror our own.

For all we know we might be surrounded by alien life forms, their spores and seeds coming to Earth via meteors and comets. Just because it can't move around or talk like we do doesn't mean it hasn't got a mind.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
Humans are horrible at recognizing intelligence that doesn't mirror our own.

For all we know we might be surrounded by alien life forms, their spores and seeds coming to Earth via meteors and comets. Just because it can't move around or talk like we do doesn't mean it hasn't got a mind.


^THIS...

Octopuses have a form of communication that we can't even begin to understand other than, oh it's flashing cuz I poke it with a stick, derr. Dolphins, other cetaceans, hell, I hate to bring up the gorilla in the room, but we can talk to them for christs sake!!! They can learn our sign language and communicate with us...
Ugh...

We are not the only sentient species on this planet. Never have been, never will be.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:16 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore


Since insects have brain structures that are far simpler than our own. For instance, bees have less than 5 million neurons, as compared to the 100 billion in the human brain - this makes their neurology far easier to study. Using the insect's analogue to the human's midbrain, biologist Andrew Barron and philosophy professor Colin Klein have found that the activity being displayed there suggests that an individual insect has some sort of sense of itself within it's environment: where it is, what's around it, and how it needs to respond.




Yep, make a stink bug unhappy and they will respond.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: Jansy

Earwigs scare the hell out of me. But I'd still choose one as a friend over a lot of the folks who are avid [insert Presidential Candidate Name] supporters... lol


Noooooooo! My uncle used to tell me when I was a child that earwigs jump out of trees at night and go into your ear. He would say this especially if we were walking near my grandmother's apartment in the evening.

Still creeps me out.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:21 PM
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originally posted by: reldra

originally posted by: FamCore


Since insects have brain structures that are far simpler than our own. For instance, bees have less than 5 million neurons, as compared to the 100 billion in the human brain - this makes their neurology far easier to study. Using the insect's analogue to the human's midbrain, biologist Andrew Barron and philosophy professor Colin Klein have found that the activity being displayed there suggests that an individual insect has some sort of sense of itself within it's environment: where it is, what's around it, and how it needs to respond.




Yep, make a stink bug unhappy and they will respond.


I've populated the yard with mantises in order to eat the stink bugs. They're thick out here and go between cracks and make their way inside...and then it takes a miracle to find them. Let's hope the oothecas hatch with some good results.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

Don't see how this really matters...would have rather the funds that were put toward this study go into stem cell advances...



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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Anything that fights for its survival has consciousness, I thought this was common knowledge? If anyone is surprised by this then I'd say they are pretty naive. All life is conscious.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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originally posted by: Jansy
If you think that this will change my mind about annihilating any spiders, earwigs or flies that wander into my domicile, you're sadly mistaken.

A black widow could stand up on two legs and recite Shakespeare in front of me...I'd still whack her with a shovel.



Aw just catch it in a tissue and parachute it out of a window let it Bee.. Peace..



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 04:00 PM
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Materialist philosophy takes the long way 'round to get to some pretty basic ideas. That's probably not always a bad thing, mind you. It will also be interesting when there's a reaffirmation of the discoveries made four or five decades ago, that plants have a type of consciousness as well. Maybe we'll end up redefining "life" in part as "that which possesses awareness".



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

I had an AI system running lethal fences for the military. It could learn and monitor it's environment and respond accordingly. Does that mean my system had consciousness? I don't think so lol. It was a clever mimicry of decision making capabilities based on a sensory feedback loop.

I imagine bees are very much the same. The are small biological robots that fill a predetermined function. I don't think consciousness really cones into play until we look at higher life forms, dolphins, whales, elephants, etc. Maybe even foamy the squirrel at illwill.com

Cheers - Dave



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 04:26 PM
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a reply to: reldra




My uncle used to tell me when I was a child that earwigs jump out of trees at night and go into your ear. He would say this especially if we were walking near my grandmother's apartment in the evening.


Did your uncle have a "beef" with your grandmother or was that all just in good fun? haha thanks for sharing - ear wigs and centipedes freak me the hell out, about as much as heights do (although it's tough to compare the two)



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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I like bees, they are super friendly unless you do something stupid and hurt them. They usually do not want to bother us, but sometimes they have to. I like spiders too, they are not out to get us. I have been bit three times, one ate a chunk out of my leg but it grew back. That was one of those brown recluses I think, it was brown and did sort of look like the recluse. The doctor gave me a good antibiotic and it got all better. It was expensive, a hundred twenty bucks for six pills, but they worked great. My neighbor where I got the bite, had one bite him too, it left a hole in his leg the rest of his life. He was older than I and had a different doctor who stuck him on a mild cheaper antibiotic at first, by the time he got the good meds, there was permanent damage and much deeper, down to the bone, and it never filled in.

But still, I like spiders. I am more attentive to them now because of some encounters in the past. I've been stung by bees too, but it was my stupidity which caused the problem. I'm still alive.

Not much of a fan of snakes though. They do not seem to have personalities like some insects do. But I would guess that some people who have snakes would say they do.




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