The biophysics of metacognition sans mutations

Reported last year in this announcement.  “Metacognition therefore is not restricted to vertebrates and can be accomplished in a much smaller and limited brain.”

In Kohl (2012) “The honeybee is a model organism for understanding the epigenetic link from food odors and social odors to neural networks of the mammalian brain, which ultimately determine human behavior.”

In Kohl (2013) “In the honey bee, the outputs of gene regulatory networks stemming from near identical genomes are altered by differing nutritional intakes which can be considered to be alternate trajectories along an epigenetic landscape. Differential nutrition results in different morphologies, different physiologies, different nervous systems and very different behaviors, all arising from different developmental trajectories that end in queen and worker. (Gabor Miklos & Maleszka, 2011, p. 403)”

In Kohl (2013) “Epigenetics: An essential mechanism for pruning down the wide range of possible behaviors permitted by genes, selecting those that fit an individual’s environment (Berreby, 2011).”

Published Nov 4, 2013 “…nonhuman animals can assess the certainty of a predicted outcome, and bees’ performance was comparable to that of primates in a similar paradigm. We discuss whether these behavioral results prove bees react to uncertainty or whether associative mechanisms can explain such findings. To better frame metacognition as an issue for neurobiological investigation, we propose a neurobiological hypothesis of uncertainty monitoring based on the known circuitry of the honey bee brain.

Feierman, like others: Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts. I’ve frequently asked: “Is there a model for that?” or any experimental evidence in any model organism that supports such a statement?

Published Nov 6, 2013 RNA catalyses nuclear pre-mRNA splicing. “…the common catalytic mechanism used by the spliceosome and group II introns is consistent with a common evolutionary origin between the spliceosome and these ancient RNA retroelements46,47.”

Random mutations that compromise metal binding are not likely to lead to alternative splicings or to natural selection of anything. Mutations typically lead to dead-ends along an evolutionary continuum, which may be why theoretical biologists have begun to disassociate mutations from natural selection.  See: No entailing laws, but enablement in the evolution of the biosphere. Enablement in evolution is something that “just happens” outside the constraints of physics (as in biophysics)

Obviously, there are some people who realize that random mutations are NOT the substrate on which natural selection acts, at the same time others have realized they must eliminate physics and model organisms from consideration of biological facts exemplified in species from microbes to man. We indirectly suggested that random mutations were not involved in the alternative splicings facilitated by RNA catalysis and nuclear pre-mRNA splicing by considering pre-mRNA and alternative splicing in the context of molecular epigenetics in species from microbes to man. In 1996, we wrote: “Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans…. That similar proteins perform functions in humans suggests the possibility that some human sex differences may arise from alternative splicings of otherwise identical genes.”  I mentioned this in response to a Dec. 2012 article in the Scientist “Evolution by Splicing,” which was based on  two article published in Science Magazine.

About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society