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Past, present and future

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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Past, present and future

Postby Geert Jeuring » Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:12 am

Hello Forum, I´m a physiotherapist currently writing an article for a physiotherapy magazine. In the article I´m stating that the human being is the only organism on earth capable of remembering past experiences, and use them for planning in the future. Then I started to remember a couple of lessons from the psychologyseminars about some rather smart monkeys and I´m not so sure any more. What´s your view. If possible with a reference to literature.


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Postby Sragha » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:59 am

I think, animals when trained can re-collect past experience and use the learnings as and when required to survive.

Elephants are a classic example for having an excellent memory, and recollect past events .
Good luck with your paper
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:46 pm

I'm sorry but it simply isn't true. A cimpanzee can use a stick as a tool to dig for ants in an ant farm after his mother taught him to.
Reference: a commercial on National Geographic :d
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Postby alextemplet » Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:01 pm

Most animals have memory. Some not as good as us, some maybe better, but they all can remember past experiences.
Generally speaking, the more people talk about "being saved," the further away they actually are from true salvation.

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Postby sham » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:22 am

Animals can remember and learn from past experiences.
1) by habituation - remembering past experience by repeated action.
2) imprinting - remembering the first object it sees as its mother/ protector and learn from it.
3) conditioning - experiment by Russian physiologist Pavlov on a dog (refer to book)
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Postby damien james » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:12 am

Not only animalia, but a few other kingdom organisms have type of memory, although maybe not how we would define memory).
The hand of God may well be all around us, but it is not, nor can it be, the task of science to dust for fingerprints.
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Postby Geert Jeuring » Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:47 pm

Thanks for your replies. Maybe I haven´t specified my question enough or perhaps I should rephrase it. Are there other animals that are conscious of their past or their future. Human beings have this consciousnes, but in healing it is not always helpfull. Knowing (or think they know) about there situation/illnes often leads to catastrophizing. This I think can only happen if your conscious of your future. Of course I´m aware of the basic principles of behaviourism and that you can learn an animal to be afraid as a response to a certain stimulus but that´s not all the same, isn´t it?

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Postby alextemplet » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:01 am

Well, it might be the same or it might not. What do you call conscious? That's a very hard term for me to define, so please explain what you mean.
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Postby Geert Jeuring » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:22 am

Hello Alex, conscious in this case would mean. Does the animal perceive it´s illness as a threat to the future or is it only aware of its present state. Human beings often catastrophize their situation by pondering on what their current illness could mean to them in the future. It is most likely the cause for a lot of chronic nonspecific illnesses.

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Postby alextemplet » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:39 am

Some animals might. I know animals certainly don't enjoy being sick, but whether they see this as a threat to their health or simple discomfort, I don't know. You'd have to literally read the animal's mind to answer that one, wouldn't you?
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