Monday, January 04, 2010

Fish can learn

One occasionally hears people making a claim such as that fish are incapable of remembering anything for more than a few seconds. (This was put to good comic effect in the movie "Finding Nemo.") It's pretty implausible on its face--there would be such a strong survival advantage to having at least a rudimentary memory that it's hard to believe none would evolve. "Mythbusters" did a great segment in which they proved pretty conclusively that goldfish could learn to swim through an obstacle course more quickly over time in order to get to the food reward. So it's clear: fish can learn.

It's true at the poker table, too. Even the dumbest players can figure some things out, learn, and adjust to what you're doing--especially if you're stupid enough to give them the information they need to do so. Glenn at the Missing Flops blog witnessed such a learning moment during his New Year's weekend in Vegas, and has just put up an excellent cautionary tale about the experience here. Go listen.

2 comments:

Glenn said...

Thanks very much for the mention in your blog. I'm glad you liked the story and thought it was worth passing on to your readers (of which I have been one for a while).

PokerLaz said...

Haha I love how you went to the trouble of quoting a genuine scientific experiment on fish in order to add weight to your point.

I definitely agree that fish, the poker kind, can wise up, but there always seems to be plenty more fish in the sea, so to speak ;)