Re: Doogie Mice

Robert J. Bradbury (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 10:09:16 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 6 Sep 1999, John Clark wrote:

> If the words "mouse intelligence" has any meaning at all then these
> are the reasons Dr. Tang is justified in saying that Doogie is smarter
> than wild mice.

I think the problem may be that I consider "mouse intelligence" to be much more of an oxymoron than you do. I can go to the hardware store up the street and get a wrench that dynamically adapts itself to fit the heads of bolts of different sizes. So the wrench does the job that it is designed to do. Do I now have an "intelligent wrench"?

I agree completely that Doogie is "smarter" than WT mice.

> These are thought to be 6 different abilities, 4 involved the hippocampus
> and 2 did no. Doogie did consistently better on all of them.

No problem, all I've said is said is that *in my opinion*, improving memory (which is a primary hippocampus function) is a substantially lesser thing than improving what I call "intelligence".

The dictionary says:
the ability to perceive logical relationships and use one's knowledge to solve problems and respond appropriately to *novel* situations ||
capability of performing some functions usually associated with *human* reasoning

I just don't happen to think that the case is strong that improving mouse *memory* will be a panacea for improving the "intelligence" of higher mammals.