Scientists Create Sixth Sense Vision In Infrared

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by Dashing_Chap, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. Not sure if this is really a sixth sense, might be a bit of a liberty taken by the press as infrared is still part of the light spectrum and presumably comes under the sense of vision. I would have thought an entirely new sense would be something outside of the realm of vision, touch, smell, taste, hearing etc, an entirely new way of detecting things.

    Here's the article from the Torygraph:

    Scientists create 'sixth sense' brain implant to detect infrared light - Telegraph

    I saw a programme the other day which suggested foxes, birds and other creatures can see the eath's magnetic field. This also brings us to another speculative question which I brought up in the AYR thread ages ago about colour - I wonder if there are other phenomena which exist and which we are unable to yet detect? The Dark Energy/Matter stuff being a possible example. It's curious to speculate what it might appear like if we were able to see it and add colour to it, would it be a more magnificent sight to behold than the universe which we can already see?

  2. Does it involve wearing an old air filter?

  3. Worse, in order to use the new sense, an old one must be sacrificed...
  4. It's not so much detecting things, it's representing things in our consciousness. Why do vision, hearing, taste, touch, etc take the form they do, how do they do so physically (and I don't just mean "air molecules bounce of something and some nerves get triggered! ^^") and how such conscious entities fit into our mathematical models of the Universe. How does an animal perceive electric fields at a conscious level (if they do)? What other potential "modes" of experiencing things are there?
  5. It appears that animals do perceive electric fields, but I'm not sure whether bees are conscious, or at least in a higher state of conscious with self awareness like humans and other advanced animals.

    Flowers get an electrifying buzz out of visiting bees - life - 21 February 2013 - New Scientist


  6. The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."
  7. Indeed, my tusky friend, but there are other dedicated forums for some of these issues:
    "Of shoes--" - Clothing and Equipment or some girly section in Gossip.
    "and ships--" - The Serious Bit or Tanks, Planes & Ships
    "and sealing-wax--" - again, Clothing and Equipment

    "Of cabbages--" - depends whether you mean army caterers or humans cooking them ...
    "and kings--
    " history or current affairs
    "And why the sea is boiling hot--" yep, right forum ... probably local volcanic action or a runaway reactor :twisted:
    "And whether pigs have wings." ah, one of my favourites, genetic engineering! Igor, pass me the vial of chicken wing DNA and connect up the lightning rod! :muhaha:[/QUOTE]
  8. Depends what you mean by "perceive" in this instance. The article gives evidence for the bees sensing the effects of electric fields, but doesn't provide evidence that they directly sense the field (like we do light, say) or indirectly detect it through another sense (eg, raising of leg hairs (which we feel as a form of touch)).

    However, the use of electric fields by animals is fairly well-documented, particularly in fish but also in long-beaked echidnas (a terrestrial animal), duck-billed platypus and the guiana dolphin. Magnetoception is also recorded, covering a wider range of non-aquatic animals.

    Electroreception - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Sensory systems in fish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Magnetoception - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some animals, particularly infantry, have a well-documented (see any police station's charge sheet) sense of Beeroception, which gives the creature the ability to detect a pub or can of lager from amazing distances. Although apparently simple, the process is actually a complex computational task; it is easy enough to explain the presence of this sense in engineers but scientists are frankly baffled by its occurrence in infantry: New Scientist, 13 Mar 11, Prof Carl S Berg - "It's an exciting area of research. Clearly the lack of white matter in green jackets or guardsmen means we have to look elsewhere. There was some speculation that there might be an underlying validity to the folk-lore that they think with their dicks, but again, the structures do not appear large enough to account for beeroception ... or anything else for that matter. It shows we have much to learn even from primitive animals such as these."

    No one's actually sure whether any other animals are "conscious". Now, I'm pretty sure that many animals are (definitely dogs!) but given that we don't know what consciousness is or how it is generated, we can't be technically sure ... but we've been through this point many times, so I don't suppose I need dwell on the subject.
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  9. Bee brains do contain a little model of the bee and where it's been that the bee uses to orientated herself and motivates her dance. Or so I read once. So they are certainly self aware albeit on a bee level.

    Their sixth sense is an ability to see the polarisation of light, they use this and their bodywork to navigate.

    Hives certainly have a personality, I've heard of aggressive hives being calmed down by swapping for a new queen. No linkeys, sorry.

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  10. I'm sure that's true, but I'm equally sure I could program a computer to exhibit similar levels of complex behaviour. The computer program would also contain navigational and sensory models (suited for a less complex simulated environment). However, we have no reason to suppose that the computer program would be in the least bit "conscious" or "self-aware", any more than, say, a centrifugal speed governor would be "aware" of its speed or need to open/close valves.