Do Fish Have Brains?

Do fish have brains? It’s a simple enough question isn’t it? Cleary if fish exist – as a “structure” – and, fish have brains – within that “stucture” – we must consider the whole of the fish, when referring to the intelligence and, structure of that fish. Correct? So, in what way does structure not serve, and hence coincide, with intelligence? Indeed, how does it vary from the structure of the Universe, when viewed as a (structured) system as a whole?

Now, does this mean I’m saying we as human beings are the articulators of the Universe? No it does not. I am merely asking if it’s possible to separate intelligence from structure. In other words, how does intelligence in fact “arrive,” without its contingency upon structure as its basis? And, where we may recognize intelligence within the brain, as the epitome or, “final outcropping” of that structure, does that mean the rest of the system does not entail intelligence?

Surely we couldn’t argue this in the case with a fish!

i personally say yes fish have brains…

i have had fish as pets for many years now and if you spend enough time with them (like any animal) you would see that they do have brains and some can show high intellegence.

for example i have a severum she is just over a year old and when i feed her i always try and trick her as to where i’m putting the food (a little mind stimulation) she knows when i walk across the room and pick up the food container to swim to the top of the tank (and for the same reason - mind stimulation - i dont feed her at the same time every day) …

Then i open the tank lids and she twists backwards and forwards knowing i may drop the food in any side… then all she does is watch my arm movement (i even sometimes sway my arm to one side but then drop the food in the other and everytime she wont be tricked she watches me arm and follows my fingers)…

so i’n my opinion if she didnt have a brain then non of the above would ever occur.

Also i can honestly say spending time with my scaley friends has shown me each one has their own personality…my severum is smart but too curious and tries to stick her little tubby tummy into spots she wont fit… but she tries ALL angles before she gives up and moves to some other interesting place for her… so smart and stubborn :slight_smile:

but thats my opinion.

i would define brain as an organ where it tells over organs what its functions are and make them do it. thus, i would say that even a nucleus in a single-celled organism is a brain. so, it is logical to assert that any eukaryote has a brain. therefore, fishes do have brains.

Note: For anyone who may be thrown by the original post, the first question was more rhetorical, and was in response to a question someone else had posed on another forum, regarding the nature of structure versus intelligence. Obviously, fish do have brains. Okay?


Hmm … Maybe this thread belongs in the Religion forum? Perhaps if the moderators will consider moving it there?

Until recently, I always thought we did!

or, Mundane Babble… :slight_smile:

maybe iacchus should be mod-renamed to ichtyos

Hey, I wouldn’t want to come off sounding like I know what I know would I? … How “philosophical” would that be?

If you cut a fish open, you’ll see a brain about where you would expect to find one. :stuck_out_tongue: (That is, as long as it’s not horribly deformed or something).

If you cut off your arm, you won’t cease to function intelligently. Ditto for your kidneys, or replacing your heart with an artificial one (your heart (literal) is not your heart (poetic, figurative). That’s just a leftover from ancient Greece). However, start cutting off parts of the brain, and certain aspects of your mind cease to function. Hence, those aspects apparently depend on processes in those regions of the brain. When we go unconcious or concious, or take psychological medication, we observe simultaneous effects on our behavior and changes in the brain. This leads us to believe, quite reasonably so, that the mind is an emergent property of the brain.

A computer has an “intelligence” (such as we’re capable of producing nowadays anyways) that is dependent on the structure of the processors which arrange patterns of electrons to stand for information based on other pieces of information (the programs). Smash the structure, and the “intelligence” goes away.

However, it might be said that the programs or software is more important than the specific platform on which it runs (the hardware) in terms of the way that the computer ultimately functions.

Yet all these things are extended through – or, in conjuction with – intelligence.

Blast a few rounds into a radio receiver and ask me if it’s not detrimental to receiving “the signal?”

Albeit “falsifiable” by the notion of a radio receiver above.