"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Thursday, 20 September 2012

‘Animal’ Consciousness: Genius female chimpanzee found to be smarter than U.S. high school students

‘Animal’ Consciousness
Genius female chimpanzee found to be smarter than U.S. high school students – and ‘Animal’ Emotions

A twenties-something "genius ape" named Natasha has been found to demonstrate more intelligence than a typical U.S. high school student. The findings have been published in the peer-reviewed science journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

As the paper documents, Natasha repeatedly demonstrates skills and reasoning that escape modern-day high school students. "The caretakers named Natasha as the smartest chimpanzee, precisely the same chimpanzee that our tests had revealed to be exceptional," wrote authors Esther Herrmann and Josep Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (reported at Discovery.com, link below).

According to these scientists, Natasha has demonstrated the following skills; all of which escape the dumbed-down mental capacity of a typical U.S. high school student:

• An ability to repeatedly escape the chimpanzee enclosure using planning skills.

• An ability to disable an electric fence by throwing branches on it and observing the sparks. Once the sparks stopped, Natasha knew the fence was disabled and then proceeded to climb it. (A typical U.S. high school student cannot figure out how to pull his pants up around his waist.)

• The ability to wield a special tool to avoid a trap while locating hidden food. (U.S. high school students eat toxic food chemicals every day which trap them in a lifetime of chronic disease.)

• According to scientists, "ape intelligence might be a bundling of skills related to learning, tool usage, understanding of quantities, and an ability to reach conclusions based on evidence and reasoning." (http://news.discovery.com/animals/ape-genius-chimpanzee-intelligence-...) U.S. high school students, on the other hand, largely run their lives based on drama, jealousy, sex and emotional reactions to simple stimuli such as corporate logos on basketball shoes.

• Intelligent chimpanzees are well known to manufacture their own tools in order to extract (yummy) termites out of holes in trees. A typical U.S. high school student barely has the skill to open a frozen burrito wrapper and punch "START" on a microwave oven.

On a similar note, it is well known that the U.S. military conducts vaccine medical experiments on human soldiers for the sole reason that "humans are cheaper than monkeys." Lab monkeys actually try to escape from vaccine assaults, while humans actually line up at pharmacies and PAY to be injected with experimental vaccines!

The question isn't whether apes are smarter than humans... it's actually this far more important question: Are many humans dumber than apes?


Chimpanzees are more AWARE than the average human, too


chimpanzeeAccording to the latest science, chimpanzees are conscious, aware beings with just as much awareness as humans (http://news.discovery.com/animals/chimpanzees-self-awareness-110504.h...). Humans, on the other hand, go to great lengths to diminish their awareness with alcohol, drugs and mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

Chimpanzees are acutely aware of their environments, while a typical high-school-aged human seems to exist in a sleepwalking zombie state from which only violent video games or online porn can cause them to awaken. While a typical chimpanzee works to observe reality while attempting to make sense of the world, a typical high school teen tries to escape reality and reject the real world…


That's how stupid humans are: They promote things that harm other humans as long as they make a profit in the process. Chimpanzees don't seek out mind-altering psychiatric drugs. Only a human is stupid enough to assault their brain chemistry with a patented, synthetic chemical made in a factory. You can't brainwash an ape into thinking childhood is a disease. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPS9SohzMjw)

Bonobo genius makes stone tools like early humans did

Even a human could manage this <i>(Image: Elizabeth Rubert-Pugh (Great Ape Trust of Iowa/Bonobo Hope Sanctuary))</i>

Kanzi the bonobo continues to impress. Not content with learning sign language or making up "words" for things like banana or juice, he now seems capable of making stone tools on a par with the efforts of early humans.

Eviatar Nevo of the University of Haifa in Israel and his colleagues sealed food inside a log to mimic marrow locked inside long bones, and watched Kanzi, a 30-year-old male bonobo chimp, try to extract it. While a companion bonobo attempted the problem a handful of times, and succeeded only by smashing the log on the ground, Kanzi took a longer and arguably more sophisticated approach.

Both had been taught to knap flint flakes in the 1990s, holding a stone core in one hand and using another as a hammer. Kanzi used the tools he created to come at the log in a variety of ways: inserting sticks into seams in the log, throwing projectiles at it, and employing stone flints as choppers, drills, and scrapers. In the end, he got food out of 24 logs, while his companion managed just two.

Perhaps most remarkable about the tools Kanzi created is their resemblance to early hominid tools. Both bonobos made and used tools to obtain food – either by extracting it from logs or by digging it out of the ground. But only Kanzi's met the criteria for both tool groups made by early Homo: wedges and choppers, and scrapers and drills.

Do Kanzi's skills translate to all bonobos? It's hard to say. The abilities of animals like Alex the parrot, who could purportedly count to six, and Betty the crow, who crafted a hook out of wire, sometimes prompt claims about the intelligence of an entire species. But since these animals are raised in unusual environments where they frequently interact with humans, their cases may be too singular to extrapolate their talents to their brethren.

The findings will fuel the ongoing debate over whether stone tools mark the beginning of modern human culture, or predate our Homo genus. They appear to suggest the latter – though critics will point out that Kanzi and his companion were taught how to make the tools. Whether the behaviour could arise in nature is unclear.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1212855109


Rats Laugh When Tickled, Animal Emotions Provide Clues to Autism, Other Disorders Says WSU Researcher

Animals might not analyze their emotions the way humans do, but they do experience them, according to Jaak Panksepp, a professor and researcher at Washington State University.

Credit: WSU

A relatively new addition to WSU's Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, Panksepp believes "people don't have a monopoly on emotion; rather, despair, joy and love are ancient, elemental responses that have helped all sorts of creatures survive and thrive in the natural world."

Since arriving at WSU, he has ushered in a new area of study called "affective neuroscience." It involves the study of the basic processes that create and control moods, feelings and attitudes in both people and animals.

"This doesn't imply that animals think about their feelings like people do," said Panksepp, "but they do experience them in similar ways."

Born in Estonia, he brings with him an extensive portfolio of both domestic and international neuroscience credentials. He also is already something of a celebrity, having been featured on MSNBC and in Psychology Today.

Panksepp's research goal is to offer a scientific strategy for understanding the basic emotional feelings in the mammalian brain, including humans, by accurately studying the instinctual emotional behaviors of animals. He is developing the idea that emotional feelings are closely linked to the instinctual actions animals exhibit.

"All animals have instinctual behaviors, so therefore we target the instinctual circuits," he said. "We can stimulate a circuit - say by gently tickling a rat - to essentially ask the animal if he likes the circuit on or off (rats like it on). They always choose one way or the other. Mother Nature built it in such a way that a feeling component is part of the instinctual system.

Practically speaking, this understanding of animal behavior and the neurochemistry behind emotion may help lead to breakthrough treatments for an array of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, autism, sleep problems and more, Panksepp said.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, he and his colleagues developed the first animal model for autism. Later, they tested autistic children in Salzburg using an opiate blocking drug called naltrexone. Given very low doses of naltrexone, which mildly shift chemical balances in the body and brain, Panksepp and his team found that some children became more cheerful and responsive.

"We are working with the body's own chemistry in these studies," he said, "so there are few side effects. In general, the drug increases social desire and we speculate that some autistic children have a higher than normal opiate level in their brain, causing them to become socially aloof. In effect, they have become addicted to themselves," he said.

Panksepp is also toying with the idea that low dose naltrexone might be effective in mood regulation, which may be something he plans to investigate in the future. By blocking the opioid system only at night, they effectively hope to encourage the brain's natural opioid system to become more active during the day.

With millions of questions yet to answer in this new area of study, Panksepp plans to continue his investigations at WSU and to collaborate with researchers there and many other universities. He is most interested in the organization of the "social brain" and social emotions - joy and sadness - especially by focusing on the emotional sounds of animals.

In his recent work, Panksepp has found that young rats make chirping sounds outside the range of human hearing, especially while playing. These high-pitched sounds appear to have a deep ancestral relationship to infantile human laughter - the essence of social joy, he said. The brain systems that generate these play sounds feel good, since the animals like to have those brain areas "tickled". The work provides a greater understanding of positive emotions that may eventually help in the development of better antidepressants.

But finding a species in which he could study both systems effectively at the same age has proved to be difficult. Panksepp's group recently started to focus their research on the degu - a small, guinea pig-like rodent native to Chile. The playful degus have a wide repertoire of vocalizations which are the basis for many of Panksepp's current studies at WSU.

Panksepp is a world leader in the new science of how emotions are controlled by the brain. Beside his current work with positive social emotions, he has also helped show how specific brain mechanisms that control desire, anger and separation distress are organized in the brain, and that many animals even have subtler emotions such as the "quest for nurturance and the desire to offer care" - just as anyone who has ever owned and loved a dog might suspect.

Jaak Panksepp, WSU professor and researcher, seeks to offer a scientific strategy for understanding the basic emotional feelings in the mammalian brain, including humans, by accurately studying the instinctual emotional behaviors of animals. He is developing the idea that emotional feelings are closely linked to the instinctual actions animals exhibit.

Contacts and sources: 
By Robert Strenge
Washington State University

From Nano Patents and Innovations @ http://nanopatentsandinnovations.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/rats-laugh-when-tickled-animal-emotions.html

For more information about animal consciousness see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/animal%20consciousness

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