Talk:Pain in invertebrates

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Undo revision[edit]

Hi Stemonitis, I have undone your revision for the follwing reasons. First, if the taxonomic name of an animal has changed, this does not mean the animal has ceased to exist. I therefore do not understand why you have deleted the image of "Chasmagnathus granulatus". Surely you could have edited the image caption, or requested that it be done. Furthermore, the page Chasmagnathus still exists whereas there is no page for the animal you have named. Please can you give a source for the change as Chasmagnathus is the name given in the articles cited. Second, why have you changed 'prawn' to 'shrimp'? the Dendrobranchiata says the terms are used interchangeably. DrChrissy (talk) 19:10, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

"Chasmagnathus granulatus" is no longer considered part of the genus Chasmagnathus, and has been moved to the genus Neohelice. The image in the article is therefore of an animal in a different genus, and is not particularly apposite here. Don't worry too much about the red link; I'm working on an article offline, which should be up within a few days. I changed "prawn" to "shrimp" because, in fact, "shrimp" and "prawn" are not always synonymous; for many people there are significant differences between the two terms. While under the vague definition, Palaemon could be considered either a "shrimp" or a "prawn", under the more carefully definitions, Palaemon is a "shrimp" but not a "prawn". Thus, there is no objection to it being called a "shrimp", but there are reasons for not calling it a "prawn". I think that this deals with all your objections, so I have reinstated my edit. --Stemonitis (talk) 15:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding Chasmagnathus granulatus - The change you made refers to reference #58. This is "Lozada, M., Romano, A. and Maldonado, H., (1988). Effect of morphine and naloxone on a defensive response of the crab Chasmagnathus granulatus. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 30: 635–640". So, this name is used in the text and I have placed an image of this animal on the page. This is a verifiable source. The animal may have had its name changed in some taxonomic tweaking, but if that is the case, you must verify this. Simply changing the animal's name to a red link is not sufficient as at the moment you have simply replaced "Chasmagnathus granulatus" with a collection of un-verifiable letters. Furthermore, I do not understand your zeal for removing the image of Chasmagnathus granulatus. If its name has been changed, why not edit the caption rather than remove the image? - you can take up any other issues of mis/naming with the person who submitted the image. Regarding "Prawn" and "Shrimp" - the passage you changed relates to reference #43. The abstract of this article states "We examined the responses of a decapod crustacean, the prawn, Palaemon elegans, to different noxious stimuli...", therefore I can verify that Palaemon elegans is called a "prawn". You have not verified your change of why it should be called a shrimp.

Because of these unverified changes, I have reverted the article to the former version. DrChrissy (talk) 17:02, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

That was foolish. I have explained that the animal in the picture is not the animal in the paper, and isn't even in the same genus. This is not merely "tweaking", even if it may seem so to the non-specialist. The two species have been placed in separate genera, because it has been determined that they're not especially closely related. That's why it makes no sense to include a picture of Chasmagnathus convexus when discussing Neohelice granulata. You say "I have placed an image of this animal on the page", but that's not true. You have placed an image of an entirely different animal there. We generally update nomenclature, such that if a paper refers to a taxon by an outdated name, we use the more up-to-date name (except in direct quotations). What reason do you have for insisting on retaining out-of-date taxonomy? --Stemonitis (talk) 17:26, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh....I now see your concern about the image. It is not the same SPECIES as the one stated in the text. I had got hung up on your discussion about changes to Genus names. I have removed the image.DrChrissy (talk) 18:23, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but it's more than that. It's not the same genus, either. Look at the article you are linking to. Chasmagnathus does not cover "C. granulatus". Because that genus is monotypic, the article is effectively about the single species Chasmagnathus convexus, which is not part of any of the studies cited here. The species that was studied is not in the genus Chasmagnathus any more, and so we should not be referring the reader to Chasmagnathus at all. It is therefore quite important that my chnges to the genus be taken on as well. --Stemonitis (talk) 18:29, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Several of the changes you have made to this article are improvements, however, you have still not verified reasons for making other changes. Therefore, I have Reverted to the previous version. The onus is on editors making changes to verify those changes.DrChrissy (talk) 16:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Which parts are you contesting? You have left the article in a worse state; it is now linking to the wrong genus. I thought I had explained this. Are you disputing the erection of the genus Neohelice, or is this about "shrimp" and "prawn" (two terms which those articles claim to be entirely synonymous)? There is nothing that needs verifying at all, and in neither case can I see grounds for reverting, especially given the large number of other unambiguous improvements made at the same time. Please explain yourself. --Stemonitis (talk) 05:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
You are making 2 changes which need verification. First, you are changing the taxonomic name of a species studied and reported in an internationally peer-reviewed article - where is the verification for this. Second, you are changing the word 'prawn' for 'shrimp' when the word prawn was used in the original, internationally peer-reviewed article. Both these changes you are making need verification. DrChrissy (talk) 14:58, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
We are not required to continue to use outdated names, and it is absolutely standard to update them when discussing older texts. Indeed, it is one of the advantages Wikipedia has over other encyclopaedias, that we can be more up-to-date in such matters. The species formerly referred to as Chasmagnathus granulata is now (universally) referred to as Neohelice granulata, and that does not require an inline reference in this article, since it is merely a change of name. If you, personally, doubt the identity of the two names, then Neohelice should satisfy you, since it contains copious references that demonstrate it. "Prawn" and "shrimp" are widely considered synonymous, so that's also a non-issue. There is no justification for continuing to undo my edit. --Stemonitis (talk) 15:29, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Does WikiProject Athropodos (or Crustacea or whoever) have a central reference for taxonomy? In reptiles (and I'm sure in arthropods), taxonomic changes are exceedingly common and rapid these days, and not all such changes turn out to be valid. To avoid changing page names and links every time a new paper comes out, only to change it back when a competing lab produces a rebuttal, ad infinitum, WP:Amphibians and Reptiles uses a few websites that are comparatively slow to adopt changes as the final authority. This saves a lot of effort and confusion while giving the taxonomists time to sort things out into at least a marginally less volatile state.
I see from the page that the taxonomic change is from 2006 - not ultra-recent, but it's still possible that it could be overturned, especially if it's controversial among those who work on the species (IMHO, sometimes paraphyletc taxa *are* useful, particularly when one focuses on physiology, ecology or other areas where broad plesiomorphies may be more informative than strict synapomorphies). Look at Drosophila - it's paraphyletic, but because the name has so much history and is so useful, it's retained. Would a more conservative taxonomic approach possibly be merited? HCA (talk) 16:42, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
HCA, Thank you for your informative and measured input to this. As an ethologist, whilst I understand the importance of taxonomy, it is not something I have the time to keep up with. So, if I quote the scientific name of a species that has been studied as it is written in the peer-reviewed published paper, who am I to question this. If this name has been changed subseqently, fine that it should be changed, but an author then editing this name into an article should verify why this edit is being made, according to both WP policy and out of respect for the original author of the article. I am sure the average (non-taxonomic) reader would be confused to read one scientific name in the original paper and a completely different name here on Wikipedia. Thanks again for your input.DrChrissy (talk) 17:37, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
For crustaceans, we would generally rely on WoRMS, which in this case lists the species as Neohelice granulata. We are also fortunate that a broad group of taxonomists recently published a conspectus of all crab species (Ng et al., 2008, "Systema Brachyurorum"), in which it is also given as Neohelice granulata. In this case, there simply is no dissenting voice; everyone accepts that the species is Neohelice granulata, and has done for years. There really is no reason whatsoever for retaining a obsolete name such as this. --Stemonitis (talk) 17:51, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Stemonitis, in the second message in this discussion you wrote I changed "prawn" to "shrimp" because, in fact, "shrimp" and "prawn" are not always synonymous; for many people there are significant differences between the two terms. While under the vague definition, Palaemon could be considered either a "shrimp" or a "prawn", under the more carefully definitions, Palaemon is a "shrimp" but not a "prawn". Thus, there is no objection to it being called a "shrimp", but there are reasons for not calling it a "prawn". --Stemonitis (talk) 15:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC) So, are 'shrimp' and 'prawn' synonymous or not? You have argued for both! If they are synonymous then I think it is extremely disrespectful to change the original author's writing. If they are not synonymous, then your change needs verifying. Therefore, I have undone your edits. DrChrissy (talk) 17:37, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: is your revert based entirely on this "shrimp"/"prawn" canard? Am I simply wasting my time discussing nomenclature? Could you not have simply undone the parts you disagreed with rather than undoing all the other improvements I made at the same time? I said that '"Prawn" and "shrimp" are widely considered synonymous', which does not, in fact, contradict my previous statement. Using words in a careful and considered way does not equate to being "disrespectful" in any sense. What sort of evidence would convince you? --Stemonitis (talk) 17:51, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I am now resorting to simply copying and pasting a message I sent earlier. "You are making 2 changes which need verification. First, you are changing the taxonomic name of a species studied and reported in an internationally peer-reviewed article - where is the verification for this. Second, you are changing the word 'prawn' for 'shrimp' when the word prawn was used in the original, internationally peer-reviewed article. Both these changes you are making need verification. DrChrissy (talk) 14:58, 24 September 2012 (UTC)DrChrissy (talk) 19:51, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and that's not helping. I'm asking you to explain what you wrote, because it doesn't at face value seem to justify your actions. I have made it clear that simple updates to nomenclature require no inline citation. How do you respond to that? Moreover, how do you respond to the other questions that I asked? Do you genuinely doubt that Neohelice granulata is the organism in question? If you don't, then this obstructive behaviour is unjustifiable. If you do, then I would dearly like to know why you doubt it. There are plenty of questions here that need answers, and simply repeating previous responses is entirely insufficient. I genuinely cannot understand your objections to my edit; please help me to understand them, because otherwise your reversions look disruptive. --Stemonitis (talk) 21:02, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Please answer my questions. Unless I hear a good reason not to (which hasn't happened so far), I will reinstate my changes. --Stemonitis (talk) 08:14, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for finally providing a verification source for your change to Neohelice granulata. I have included this source in the article for the benefit of non-taxonomists who might have found this confusing. Please kindly supply a similar verification for changing prawn to shrimp. __DrChrissy (talk) 17:50, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
What? I've provided nothing, and I've had to fix the article so that it links to the correct animal. The change between shrimp and prawn isn't a big issue, although one term is preferable in the broader context. Much more important are all the other changes that you undid – you removed the italics from "Drosophila"; you used "curly quotes" rather than "straight quotes" contrary to the MOS; you capitalised various first words of taxon names in running text; you suggested that there is only one species of mantis shrimp ("the Mantis shrimp, Squilla mantis"); etc. None of those changes can be justified. --Stemonitis (talk) 17:55, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

Why does this article make so much use of the royal "we"?

It doesn't now. Thanks for that. Are you aware that it would have been okay if you had edited the word out yourself! --Epipelagic (talk) 09:22, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Recent additions[edit]

@Brian Tomasik: You have recently added some interesting and well written sections under the headings Social interaction, Non-stereotyped behavior and Gregarious cockroach. However it seems to me these additions do not indicate their relation to pain in invertebrates, in fact the word "pain" is not mentioned at all. I wonder whether, in its current form, this material might belong instead to other more appropriate articles? --Epipelagic (talk) 21:45, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

@Epipelagic: Thanks! I thought "Non-stereotyped behavior" was a relevant part of the "high cognitive ability and sentience" criterion. Discussions of plasticity of behavior are common when people ask whether invertebrates feel pain. I agree the "Social interaction" section is more tangential. Jeffrey A. Lockwood's quote explains why social behavior may be relevant to consciousness in invertebrates, but the subsection on cockroaches may be too verbose. What would you think of moving the "Gregarious cockroach" section to another article, like Cockroach#Behavioral_studies? Brian Tomasik (talk) 22:32, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with finding a home like that for gregarious cockroach. And something specifically focused on challenging stereotyped views on what pain might look like in invertebrates would definitely be useful. However I don't see that "self-awareness" is a prerequisite for experiencing pain. An invertebrate must, in some sense, be aware of pain if we are going to say it is experiencing pain, but it doesn't have to be aware that it has some sort of separate self that is experiencing the pain. Just as you or I could experience pain, particularly intense pain, without any particular awareness of self. It is not uncommon for people experiencing intense pain to refer to "the pain" rather than "my pain". --Epipelagic (talk) 22:55, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
@Epipelagic: I moved the cockroach section to the Cockroach page. :) As far as self-awareness, different people have different views on what counts as pain. This article says at the top that pain includes "the internal, emotional interpretation of the nociceptive experience". Some philosophers maintain that such an interpretation requires self-awareness. More to the point on Wikipedia, the source being cited (Lockwood's paper) discusses self-awareness in the context of arguing for consciousness more broadly (p. 80). But let me know if you still disagree with including the "Social interaction" section. Brian Tomasik (talk) 06:32, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Well that comes back to the "hard problem" (which I see you contributed to). Whether invertebrates can be said to experience suffering depends on what sense they can be said to be aware or conscious of pain. That's not the same as raw nociception, and it does not follow from Lockwood's comment about an invertebrate being being conscious of sensory input about itself that the invertebrate would be aware of that input as belonging to a separate entity, or self, that is different from other sensory input. And in particular, Lockwood is not specifically addressing the issue of pain in invertebrates, so introducing his comment into the article is introducing a measure of original research. Still, it is a core issue that needs at least acknowledgement (if not square confrontation) when discussing pain, and unless more specific references can be found I think it reasonably belongs in the article. --Epipelagic (talk) 07:32, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

First person?[edit]

I don't think the style of prose to use in an encyclopedia article is to use the first person. After reading the article further, I would say that there may be a point of view question, at least in my mind. There is a whole lot of philosophy in this article. Yet I hesitate to put up much of a discussion because just because I doubt much of the content that is unsourced in this article, I certainly am not in favor of pulling the wings off of flies...let's just say that there is another side to this POV in the article.

  Bfpage |leave a message  19:12, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Hmm, sorry Bfpage, but it seems to me the larger problems and POV issues are with your own edits. Your POV tag is inappropriate unless you can state coherently just what you think is the problem with the article. So far you have said there "is a whole lot of philosophy in this article" and that you "doubt much of the content that is unsourced in this article". Very little in the article is unsourced, and you need to be specific about what it is that you are objecting to. And yes, as anyone familiar with the area knows, there are longstanding philosophical issues related to pain and consciousness which many researchers in the field consider unresolved. If you believe they are now resolved then you need to spell that position out in a manner that cannot be construed as original research. Some of your edits suggest severe POV issues of your own. For example you removed the opening statement, "Pain in invertebrates is a contentious issue". Presumably you consider this issue is no longer contentious. Can you point me to the review articles surveying this ground-breaking development? You then removed the statement, "The concept of nociception does not imply any adverse, subjective 'feeling' - it is a reflex action". This is a fundamental point, and no coherent discussion about pain in invertebrates can proceed without making that point. Why did you pointedly remove the reference to the article here. Do you believe the concept should be dismissed in its entirely? You also say you don't think the article should be using first person. The use of first person occurs in only one place in the article, and that is in a literal quote from Charles Darwin. --Epipelagic (talk) 22:19, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Too much at once[edit]

Let me apologize for covering too much ground at one time. Since you performed a mass reversion, I would like to state from the outset that the article can be even better than it is already. My goal is not to tear down any progress made in creating an article on a topic that is notable. My intent is to bring brevity, clarity and conciseness to the text. After this, I may delve back into the POV issue I perceive. Best Regards,

  Bfpage |leave a message  09:59, 20 March 2015 (UTC)


Question[edit]

The article states:

"Invertebrate nervous systems are very unlike those of vertebrates and this dissimilarity has sometimes been used to reject the possibility of a pain experience in invertebrates. In humans, the neocortex of the brain has a central role in pain and it has been argued that any species lacking this structure will therefore be incapable of feeling pain.[12]"

...and the reference is to fish not experiencing pain. Even though this paper is fascinating and its information can be incorporated in other articles in the encyclopedia, a paper on the ability or inability of a vertebrate to experience pain doesn't support a statement about an invertebrate being able or not being able to experience pain.

This statement could also be supported by the same reference: "Fish brains do not experience pain."

  Bfpage |leave a message  11:17, 20 March 2015 (UTC)