Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: tangoblue on 24/07/2010 23:54:40

Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tangoblue on 24/07/2010 23:54:40
When a human has a thought they think it in their launguage eg. if an english person wanted to go to the shops they may think to themselves "i have to go to the shops".
Now think about this. Animals don't have advanced languages, so what do they actually think to themselves; i really doubt it's woof woof!
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: Bored chemist on 25/07/2010 10:54:24
"When a human has a thought they think it in their language "
No, they don't.
If they did then
1 Nobody could ever learn their first language.
2 Nobody could ever have an original thought.
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tangoblue on 26/07/2010 19:07:20
Then what do we think when we don't think in a language?
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: Make it Lady on 26/07/2010 20:23:26
I tend to think in a language. I find it much easier to think aloud. I think it depends on what type of learner you are. I'm sure animals must think pictorially although some animals do have a reasonable amount of language, probably it is all they need for what they do. When was the last time you saw a cat nipping to the shops for a pint of milk.
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tangoblue on 26/07/2010 23:29:22
Lol :)

i bet they would like it if they could.
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: Geezer on 27/07/2010 02:18:22
When was the last time you saw a cat nipping to the shops for a pint of milk.

I've known dogs who would nip down the pub for a pint of beer  [:D]
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tangoblue on 29/07/2010 16:46:35
Underage drinking is not the way
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/07/2010 19:41:07
I have known old dogs who go to the pub, in fact I'm nearly one myself.

However, people think in abstract concepts.
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: neilep on 30/07/2010 13:55:15
In my opinion , the ability to think certainly precedes the ability to 'langugise'.

 For a new born infant the thought process is really quite limited to 'wants' and ' needs'....but it's probably not too long before language (of a sorts) is implemented ...though...we may not be able to understand the language used but I am sure that from an extremely young age...'gurgles' are forms of communication.

The ability for an animal to think should not be put side by side with our ability to think as we have the benefit of our specific level of sentience and are aware of the thought process.....so..in my opinion...I would say that for the majority of animals thought processes...instinct is playing a role here...though...I imagine there is argument and fuel for debate when clearly a lot of animals demonstrate that there is a decisive thought process......but whether that is down to cognitive reasoning or a flow chart set of protocols I guess we'll never know ( for now).It's possible that animals do have sentience but in a very limited capacity..in comparison to ours.......

 It's difficult to not get caught in the trap of anthropomorphising animals...but we must take a big leap back and realise that their thought processes are on an entirely different level......so...my best guestimate is that when an animal thinks it is for the most part using instinct based on a set of rigid principles that allows for some flexibility to offer options dependent on the consequences of it's actions and/or the nature of itís current circumstances.

Should the animal in question have the ability to vocalise then I can imagine that it may use the sound of that within it's thoughts....whereas.... something like a fish may use a pictorial representation of it's natural posturing...there may also be latent behavioural aspects that we can not detect that are used in the cognitive sequencing too....in MY opinion.


...but then......what do I know...I'm a sheepy !!  [;)]
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tommya300 on 31/07/2010 02:41:10
What do animals think when they think?
Let me place myself in the skin of an animal that has just awakened knowing nothing. “I know that fits!”
First thing, I see, hear, smell, and touch, no vocal noise yet, observation.
 I think of fear of the unknown, instinct of survival follows, I think staying in stealth mode reaction.
Becoming comfortable with the immediate surroundings, I think to explore cautiously, I would think to view the surroundings as a picture in my mind.
Now curiosity of the unknown is engaged, I think of having a closer inspection, using all the senses. This is not a verbal language since the vocal testing is not yet been exploited. I think I will remember this information through association.
Something I touch surprises me, I respond without thinking, with a sharp vocal sound off.
 I hear my voice for a second surprise.
 Musical notes and some in harmony sets as an association to what type of surprise.
So far, can this be a language?
 From here all my experiences are categorized in my mind, sounds and vibration association to things and experiences.
All of a sudden a new experience, I view my real live counter part and from reflections in the waters I drank from there I think and assume they are to be from there.
 After cautious examination and duration of time, if we both survive the encounter, I try to communicate through musical notes, association and pointing.
 I would be pointing; by eye contact, refocusing at a straight line of sight on the subject of association and singing.
Music is a true universal language. This is my thoughts and this is my language.
 Numbers and letter construction follow. 
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 31/07/2010 02:43:49
Humans have the ability to visualise things, and that doesn't require language.

Brains are designed to process different sorts of information:

* language
* visual
* sounds
* smells
* kinesthetic
* touch

You can express thoughts in all of these, not only language.
Title: What do animals think when they think?
Post by: tommya300 on 31/07/2010 03:28:55
Humans have the ability to visualise things, and that doesn't require language.

Brains are designed to process different sorts of information:

* language
* visual
* sounds
* smells
* kinesthetic
* touch

You can express thoughts in all of these, not only language.

Yep I can see this. Language is an expression and expression is a language.
Deriving the meaning of a particular expression is a form of a language of communication.

"Animal communication
Transmission of information from one animal to another by means of sound, visible sign or behaviour, taste or odour, electrical impulse, touch, or a combination of these.

Some animal communication uses sound (e.g., birds calling, crickets chirping). Visual communication usually indicates an animal’s identity (species, sex, age, etc.) or other information through specific characteristics (e.g., horns, patches of colour) or behaviour (e.g., the bee’s “dance” describing a source of food). Chemical communication involves pheromones (chemical signals) produced by the animal’s endocrine system. Some fishes use electrical impulses to communicate."

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/25653/animal-communication

Trying to hone in on language, brings me around full circle to communication?