neuroscience

Do fish feel pain?

Puts a different spin on that fishing trip after I’ve always told myself “it’s ok, fish don’t feel pain” (to paraphrase Kurt Cobain)…

I was the first to identify the existence of nociceptors in a fish, the rainbow trout, in 2002. These are specialised receptors for detecting injury-causing stimuli, and their physiology is strikingly similar to those found in mammals, including humans. Since then, my laboratory and others across the world have shown that the physiology, neurobiology, molecular biology and brain activity that many fish species show in response to painful stimuli is comparable to mammals.

Source: There is ample evidence that fish feel pain | Fish | The Guardian

“Persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false…”

Must read here. I won’t summarize the article as you need to read the entire piece for yourself, but the implications for things I care about very deeply (such as marketing, politics, technology, religion, and education) are serious.

Take some time and read:

Sloman and Fernbach see this effect, which they call the “illusion of explanatory depth,” just about everywhere. People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people. In the case of my toilet, someone else designed it so that I can operate it easily. This is something humans are very good at. We’ve been relying on one another’s expertise ever since we figured out how to hunt together, which was probably a key development in our evolutionary history. So well do we collaborate, Sloman and Fernbach argue, that we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and others’ begins.

Source: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds | The New Yorker

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