re: Misc: Morphing

Kyle L. Webb (
Wed, 8 Jan 1997 10:46:56 -0700 (MST)

Mark Grant wrote:
> I don't really see how this would be possible. Yes, you could record all
> the input to the brain but all this would give you are the sensations that
> the animal felt which could be duplicated by inputs to a human brain.
> You're not going to be able to experience the inner workings of their
> brain because you're not an animal of that kind. Perhaps if there are
> physiological similarities between the two brains you could record the
> inputs to those parts of the brain and replay them, but I still can't see
> that having the effect you want of "becoming" that animal. If anything it
> would probably be intensely confusing.

That's why I carefully avoided saying you could "become" the animal. The
mapping of sensations isn't going to be perfect. If nothing else, animals
have senses we don't (example: the electrical microcurrent sensors of sharks
and other sea creatures, or the IR sensing pits of some snakes.). The
transfer will certainly not be perfect, but since we currently have very
little insight into the minds of other species, that which we can transfer
will be quite an improvement of understanding. Some of the emotional content
will probably map pretty directly, and some of it won't. Part of science
is understanding the areas in which a given method of inquiry gives a close
analogy of what is actually being observed, and what areas it gives poor
Will it give you everything? No, but it will certainly give you a much better
understanding within the limits of what you are able to map onto your own
ability to sense and experience.
Note, this is a seperate idea from morphing oneself into some amalgam of
animal/human. That's a cosmetic, and social motivation, not one for gaining
new knowledge.

Kyle L. Webb Dept. of Physics + Astronomy University of New Mexico