[Lars Christian Smith (960226 21:20 CET)]
It could be that it is changes in the brain that brings
about changes in social status, but what is observed is usually larger
body size. E.g. in the sea wrasse, if a male wrasse is caught,
the largest female in the territory changes gender and becomes male.
Visible changes in other species is often associated with dominance or
victory in mock combat, which again is associated with body size. You may
of course argue that it was a change in the organization of the brain
that allowed the animal to catch more prey, eat more, and therefore
become larger, but would you get any additional insight from this argument?
Waller's argument is that animals suffers from something analogous to
depression in humans (low self-esteem, to use an overused expression),
brought about by loss of control, being dominated, and a feeling of
relative failure. Dominance and submissiveness are often signalled
I don't think there is any doubt that a comparator mechanism exists, the
question is whether is it also works negatively.
To: Bill Powers (960224.1100 MST)
Subject: Evolution (smart genes)