I got this very interesting comment from Arild Hestvik concerning Randy’s recent work (here). Arild had trouble posting it so I am doing the honors for him. I am not sure what the issues are with Blogger comments. However, I think that having a gmail account really helps a lot. Those of you who know this stuff chime on in. Anyhow, thx Arild. Oh yes, I am putting it in as a post rather than a comment because it is so intriguing. I’ll see if I can post something on the relevant papers later on today.
Here is a simple piece of evidence for the Gallistel conjecture: There are some single cell organisms that can learn to anticipate periodic events: the slime-mold, when given an electric shock blocking its path forward, will after a while stop its movement at the predicted interval (even in the absence of a shock). This is a classical conditioning/association type learning paradigm: it must store a time/distance interval and "remember" what happens. Since there is only 1 cell there can be no synaptic network of connection to store the information: Voila! It can even find the shortest path out of a maze. Here are the papers:
Nakagaki, T., H. Yamada, et al. (2000). "Intelligence: Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism." Nature 407(6803): 470-470.
Wang, M., Saal, F. S., & Nature, F. S. (2000). Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism, 407(September), 2000.