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Ever Wonder How Animal's Think?

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posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 09:21 PM
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I have a strange tendency of finding unique animals. I could take video of my dog as proof of my statements, and to help prove that animals may be able to think, learn etc., but I'm in North Carolina for school right now, and he's in Colorado, so unless you want to see him in action, you might just have to wait 6 months to a year.

Also, the cat that rang the doorbellls just disappeared one night. We could only assume that he rang someone elses doorbell or something and was picked up.




posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by DarkHelmet
I have a strange tendency of finding unique animals. I could take video of my dog as proof of my statements, and to help prove that animals may be able to think, learn etc., but I'm in North Carolina for school right now, and he's in Colorado, so unless you want to see him in action, you might just have to wait 6 months to a year.

Also, the cat that rang the doorbellls just disappeared one night. We could only assume that he rang someone elses doorbell or something and was picked up.


Thats the problem here at ATS....People dont believe others.....I believe you there is no reason why you would make this up, what the point.

You dont need to prove to me anything. Your story is enough for me to believe it happened.

Dont get me wrong, there are people here that definatly should not be believed..

Thanks man



posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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I really believe that there is a cosmic unconscious connection.
And, animals can communicate with us, if we are paying attention.

We had neighbors move in behind us with two large dogs. Having only 4 foot cyclone fencing, we were a bit concerned. (one is a rottweiler the other a boxer)
It was a bit unnerving to got to the back fence and garden when they were out.
Our Siberian husky went to the back fence when they were out and they "chatted". She seemed to give them her approval of us.
At any rate, they no longer seem as aggressive when I approach the fence line.

Our dog also stares at us when she wants our attention. And it works.
I often wonder is she is merely staring or is she is doing something more complex.
I have had squirrels do the same when I am in the yard: they come behind me, sit and stare until I notice them. They want lunch.



posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 10:12 PM
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the native tongue thing dosnt hold up with me, for example what 'Language" do u think in before you even learn your native tongue?

do you just think in the few words you may have heard in the womb..

i suspect thought is some deeper process.



posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by SCICAN
the native tongue thing dosnt hold up with me, for example what 'Language" do u think in before you even learn your native tongue?

do you just think in the few words you may have heard in the womb..

i suspect thought is some deeper process.




That is an idea for another thread. "Origins of thought" or "What is thinking?"

That would be hard to gather evidence for...IMO

Thanks



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 12:53 AM
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Originally posted by andy1033
What about scarred dogs. They seem to always remember there torture or haressment. That must take some sort of thinking.


I absolutely believe animals remember when they've been mistreated. We have a dog Brody who is huge but he's afraid of so many things that our other dog thinks nothing of such as being brushed, tall grass and water. Now I've never heard of a dog that is afraid of being brushed but Brody is. My daughter's horse was abused as a baby. One of the the things done to him was having a red jacket thrown over his head then when he naturally enough moved he was hit along side his head with a rope. To this day he doesn't like red coats or jackets. You tell me it's been over 8 years since that took place.

By the way any suggestions on what we can do for Brody's fear of being brushed would be much appreciated. Currently we brush for a short period of time using cookies and lots of praise, he's still scared but standing for it.



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 05:48 AM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
I personally think they get mental pictures but most words (aside from very bright animals that can do lots of stuff on command) are lost on them. BTW, I don't ALWAYS get words in my head while I am thinking.


Getting pictures in your head is a hint to higher intellect. People that think in words are usually dumber people
. So I do not think that dogs can think in pictures simply because they don't have the brain capacity.

They probably think in a very primitive way which is very close to acting on instinct. For example when they get thirsty they stick their tongue out as an automatic reflex. Same thing when they get hot.



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 05:49 AM
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Animals definitely do learn but its not always the way we think they should. I used to have this old cat and he loved to claw the furniture. Well I'd get up thinking I'll teach you a lesson, no cat of mine's going to claw the furiture. I'd grab him up and put him out immediately every time he did it, thinking he would get the message and stop doing it. After about three times of doing it from then on if he wanted out thats how he thought he needed to let me know he wanted out. LOL I have never been one to declaw a cat as it leaves no means to defend themselves. I never did break him of that.


Its funny too my cats have learned by just my slightest movement that I am going to put them out and will dash away under a bed or some place to hide.



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by kinda kurious
My current dog seems to anticipate the arrival home of my wife who takes yoga and exercise classes each week. She gets home at varying times between 6pm and 7pm and invariably, Yogi will go sit at the door 5 minutes before she walks in the door. Uncanny...or rather Quite Canine. ;-)


My dog used to do something very similar.

My mum and dad both used to tell me that about a quarter of an hour before I got home from school, even if I was early or late home, my dog would get all her toys and pile them up by the back door, ready for me to play with her.

Whether she just sensed I would be home soon, or whether she could hear the familiar sound of the engine of the bus I used to travel home on, I don't know, but she knew when I would shortly be home.

She also used to have preferred watering holes in the garden. She would turn her nose up at the water bowl and walk to a watering hole by her own initiative. She knew that watering hole by memory.

She could open a closed to baby gate by banging her paw against the gate, so it would slam against the frame and bounce open.

She was a clever, very clever girl who was laidback and a great friend.

She died last year and I miss her terribly.



Originally posted by kinda kurious
Lastly, I know that my last couple of dogs dreamed. While sleeping, they made muted barks and their little legs would jerk and twitch. Perhaps they dreamt of chasing squirrels or running in a field. Sometimes we would wake them and they, just like a human, would require a minute or two to grasp their current surroundings and realize it was a dream. For me, the bottom line is if they dream, they think.


Both of my dogs, my now deceased dog and my one remaining, did/do that.

I like to think they are dreaming of running across fields and having general fun.

My dog that is still with us one night woke up from a deep sleep yelping wildly. A nightmare methinks!

I believe dogs think along the lines of memory, recognition, body language in people/other dogs and by pure sense.



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 06:11 AM
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Originally posted by gallopinghordes
I absolutely believe animals remember when they've been mistreated. We have a dog Brody who is huge but he's afraid of so many things that our other dog thinks nothing of such as being brushed, tall grass and water. Now I've never heard of a dog that is afraid of being brushed but Brody is.


Animals do remember when they have been mistreated, they remember the person who mistreated them to the extent they dislike them (and as animal owners we both know it takes alot for an animal to dislike someone) they remember the gender of the person who mistreated them, and they remember the method they were mistreated.

But it's not just by experience they will dislike a person's gender (because it is the same as the abuser) or the abuser, or an instrument used to inflict pain.

Animals also, I believe, sense if a person is not somebody they want to approach, like a person who has a history of abusing animals or being cruel to people, and I do think animals can sense this even if they have never met this person.


Originally posted by gallopinghordes
By the way any suggestions on what we can do for Brody's fear of being brushed would be much appreciated. Currently we brush for a short period of time using cookies and lots of praise, he's still scared but standing for it.


Keep brushing Brody while giving him treats, fuss, and talking in a soothing tone to him.

Keep his attention on you, and on the treats he receives that occur with the brushing.

It will take time, and there maybe setbacks, but it become clear to him, that with brushing, he will get lots of attention and treats, and therefore, he will conclude that when is brushed, it is a pleasurable experience for him.

He will then associate being brushed with attention and food.

He will then overcome his fear.

However, if you want more than one person to brush Brody, tell everyone else to repeat the same process that you use to brush Brody.

I hope this helps!



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 03:39 PM
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Dogs obviously do react a lot on vision, I have noticed that a dog who is going blind will bark at someone they have know for years until the person makes themselves known to the dog.



posted on Jul, 10 2007 @ 04:00 AM
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Are we thinking straight on this thread?

Interesting topic, especially to an animal lover, but we'll get nowhere until we define some terms.

Look:


Originally posted by DisabledVet
It's instinct...not intelligence...

Could you possibly explain the difference? Philosophers, psychologists and biologists have all tried but it's slipperier than it looks. Give it a shot -- who knows, maybe yours is the mind destined to come up with the answer!


Originally posted by wigit
Scientists who tell us they're not sure if animals are even conscious get right up my nose.

But what is consciousness?

And do you need to have it to be able to think?

And what is thinking anyway?

Don't we need to know the answers to these questions before we can figure out whether animals think or not? This philosopher certainly thinks so:


A better understanding of consciousness in humans is needed before the discussion can be extended validly to animal consciousness.

-- Daniel Dennett


Basing an opinion on the behaviour of your pet just won't fly.

For those who would learn a bit more about animal 'thinking', here's a page of links to popular articles on the subject.

For those whose interest is more than just casual, here's the current state of play in philosophy regarding animal consciousness.

And here's the philosopher Daniel Dennett on the subject.

Here's his friend Richard Dawkins, whose views may be taken to represent those of a great many biologists.

Here's the mathematician and polymath Roger Penrose, in his book The Emperor's New Mind.

And here's one for kids.

Enjoy the links. I'm off to play chess with my angelfish.



posted on Jul, 10 2007 @ 05:01 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Look:


Originally posted by DisabledVet
It's instinct...not intelligence...

Could you possibly explain the difference? Philosophers, psychologists and biologists have all tried but it's slipperier than it looks. Give it a shot -- who knows, maybe yours is the mind destined to come up with the answer!



Here I go....

An instinct is an impulse or a sudden motivation to do something given cetain environmental condtions.
Intelligence is figuring out the reason why you did it


good enough ?



posted on Jul, 10 2007 @ 05:34 AM
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Harder than it looks


Originally posted by Akutski
An instinct is an impulse or a sudden motivation to do something given cetain environmental condtions.

Intelligence is figuring out the reason why you did it

So instinct is merely environmentally-triggered impulse? How is it, then, that some instinctual behaviours are wildly elaborate? And how, given your definition, do you distinguish an instinct from a conditioned reponse? Is there a difference?

And if intelligence is merely the capacity for post hoc rationalization, how do you explain such things as planning and improvisation? Is being able to visualize possible futures not then a characteristic of intelligence? And if it is then how does that fit with your definition?


Easy-to-read article on animal intelligence

Here's an informed, readable article about animal intelligence and the issues relating to it.



posted on Jul, 10 2007 @ 07:55 AM
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Hmm I see your point.. Intellect, is all based on your experience or (knowledge) that is how you plan and imporvise because both of those techniques are based of previous experiences. For example the first time you cut an orange you squeeze it and the orange squirts in yuor eyes. So using that knowledge you then start to PLAN and say, "I can either wear glasses or simply cut it instead of squeeze it".

What do you think?

as for instinct, I see what you ment by wildely. Another point is that instinct is the same throughout the same species. So in that case my description is wrong because it is not based on environmental conditions anymore. My guess would be to move onto evolution and the brain. Same species will (in most cases) have the same instincts that shows that this instinct is either embedded in the brain's structure.. or in the millions of years of evolution however, this will take instinct towards DNA.

your response ?



posted on Jul, 10 2007 @ 02:26 PM
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Chowdown


Originally posted by Akutski
Hmm I see your point. Intellect, is all based on your experience or (knowledge) that is how you plan and imporvise because both of those techniques are based of previous experiences.

I would agree with you for the most part, if by 'intellect' you really mean 'intelligence'. A raft of philosophers, captained by John Locke, would also agree. But there are many more who disagree, from Plato to Hegel. Scientific data is inconclusive, partly because these questions are hard to formulate in a way that makes it possible to test them scientifically. If you're not that familiar with philosophical ideas, a good place to start is Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy. Much more exciting and readable than the title suggests.


For example the first time you cut an orange you squeeze it and the orange squirts in your eyes. So using that knowledge you then start to PLAN and say, "I can either wear glasses or simply cut it instead of squeeze it".

This doesn't really follow from your earlier statement. Could somebody else see you tackle an orange with spectacles and a knife and deduce from your actions that this was a planned behaviour and not an instinctive one? Maybe squillions of years of evolution had produced in you an elaborate instinctive defence against getting citric acid in your eye, a behaviour pattern that involved the development of technology and so forth.

Far-fetched, I know, but if I were, say, a Serpo Draconian Alien Foofar or whatever, how could I be sure it was volitional and not instinctive behaviour I was seeing in you, unless you told me?

That's the problem with animals, see, they don't have language. Even if they were making plans and carrying them through, they couldn't tell us about it, and from an external perspective, planned actions are idistinguishable from instinctive ones. Look at the dams beavers build. Do you think there's any rational planning involved there?


As for instinct... My guess would be to move onto evolution and the brain. Same species will (in most cases) have the same instincts that shows that this instinct is either embedded in the brain's structure... or in the millions of years of evolution however, this will take instinct towards DNA.

Well, instinct is certainly embedded, though what it's embedded in is another open question. Instinct is genetically programmed behaviour. Living things without brains do instinct pretty well -- most plants grow towards the light -- but it's also true that instinctive behaviour is triggered by environmental (or internal; same thing) cues, so both your suggestions have some bearing on the truth. Instinct isn't nearly as hard to get a grip on as consciousness.


What do you think?

What I've written above should give you some idea, but what I think really doesn't matter except, perhaps, in my own life. What matters in your life is what you think, and how that informs your other ideas and your actions. I, personally, think that animals are 'conscious', whatever that means, to varying degrees. I am certain, for instance, that my dog and even my cats can tell when I'm angry, happy, calm, anxious, etc., but I'm not stupid enough to believe that I understand what 'can tell' means in that sentence; most probably they are reacting in conditioned ways to a pattern of behaviour in me that they have learned can exploited to their own benefit. Intelligent or not, I'm no more immune to manipulation by other life-forms around me than my cat is. This recognition on their part doesn't presuppose intelligence; it may well be no more than another conditioned response. Responses conditioning each other! What price consciousness then?

In a sentimental fashion, I tend to act as if consciousness was more prevalent in animals that are a bit like us, and sort of fades away as you go down the scale of animal complexity (what I believe old Dan Dennett calls 'the cuteness scale'). By the time I get to reptiles and things I'm pretty much inclined to think of them as flesh robots. But then again, I sort of think of human beings as flesh robots too. On the whole I think consciousness is a bit of an illusion. But that's a different topic for a different thread.

Perhaps.

[edit on 10-7-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 06:53 PM
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I think some possibly pick up on our language they just can't bark it or meow it. There thoughts may use some of our words included with their own. I have a cat who often sounds as if he's trying to speak like a human. Or maybe it's because he's part Siamese-a good talker. I see it all as more than just instinct. Humans have instinct too and somtimes we may ponder the action. Informative discussion, I've wandered this many times.

[edit on 14-9-2007 by dreamingawake]



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