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> Why Thermosense Organs (M&M pg 75)?, And not infravision bioware...
Kyuhan
post Apr 20 2005, 07:54 AM
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In M&M it says that the thermosense organs are based on the heat sensory abilities of pit vipers, which is fine. Anyone know why the game developers didn't just say "Infrared detecting retinal cells based on the retinas of goldfish"? I'm aware the Thermosense aren't fooled by invisibility but I was just curious if anyone knew why they went for a form of enhanced touch instead of out and out sight.
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blakkie
post Apr 20 2005, 08:19 AM
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'Cause "viper" sounds cool and dangerous, and "goldfish" doesn't....unless you attach frickin' lasers to the heads of the goldfish. :)

Also I wasn't aware that goldfish saw into the infrared. I Googled and came up with some items suggesting that they actually see 4 wavelengths of red, green, blue, and ultraviolet (humans typically only see 3 of those, our corneas actually filter out ultraviolet). Ultraviolet is on the opposite side of the visible light spectrum from infrared, and they aren't the only animals able to see in that spectrum. For example bees do.
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Demosthenes
post Apr 20 2005, 08:25 AM
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It's also possible that someone thought about the fact that sticking thermo-sensitive cells in the retina might require a pretty thorough re-engineering of the eye, while you can use 'magic' to explain Dwarf and Troll thermographic vision.

(Though why they put the thermosense organs below the ears rather than as patches on, for example, the cheekbones, I honestly do not know...)
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blakkie
post Apr 20 2005, 08:32 AM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes)
It's also possible that someone thought about the fact that sticking thermo-sensitive cells in the retina might require a pretty thorough re-engineering of the eye, while you can use 'magic' to explain Dwarf and Troll thermographic vision.

You'd have to pack more receptor onto the retina, and accompanying nerve pathways into the optic nerve. But neither of those seem particularly out of range of the reach of bioware given the other medical miracles bioware pulls off. *shrug*

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(Though why they put the thermosense organs below the ears rather than as patches on, for example, the cheekbones, I honestly do not know...)


Perhaps for esthetic reasons? Although you'd get a wider field of vision that way, the tradeoff is limited depth perception.
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Demosthenes
post Apr 20 2005, 08:38 AM
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The other tradeoff is that you're not quite as good at determining the direction of the heatsource...

(And iirc, they never say what the thermosense organs look like...they could just as easily be concealed under the skin or something...though I think they should look like _something_)

The main advantage to having thermosense organs rather than thermographic vision is that the thermosense organs defeat invisibility: you're not talking about a visual sense, so...
(Yeah, that's another can of worms...)
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Kyuhan
post Apr 20 2005, 08:53 AM
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A couple sources for goldfish and other fish infravision:

Amazing animal senses (Sad I know. Sue me, I was inspired by watching that thing on discovery about animal senses. It was one of the biologists on staff at this site who emailed me and told me that goldfish could see IR)

IR Pointers and Fish (My friend actually used to terrorize his goldfish with an IR laser pointer)

Salmon Infravision (3rd Paragraph, although that's about salmon)
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blakkie
post Apr 20 2005, 12:00 PM
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Hmm, after digging through a few more article it looks like the long wavelength portion of their sight does extend into the near infrared. So they can see ultraviolet AND infrared/red as well as green and blue. Apparently that kind of spread is a rare thing among animals.
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wagnern
post Apr 20 2005, 01:35 PM
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The main problem with all of these is that the creatures who have these IR abilities are all cold blooded. For an infered sence to work, you would need to insulate the organ from the heat of the human body.

Maby you can think of it that the thermosence organs, located under the ears on the surface of the skin, are better shielded from the body's own heat that cells within the eye.
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Demosthenes
post Apr 20 2005, 01:43 PM
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QUOTE (wagnern)
The main problem with all of these is that the creatures who have these IR abilities are all cold blooded. For an infered sence to work, you would need to insulate the organ from the heat of the human body.

Maby you can think of it that the thermosence organs, located under the ears on the surface of the skin, are better shielded from the body's own heat that cells within the eye.

Except that thermosense organs located right underneath the ears are pretty close to the carotid artery and a number of endocrine glands, as well as all those blood vessels in the scalp and head that are close to the surface of the skin.

OTOH, if the organs are only sensitive to heat on the side that faces away from the body, that problem diminishes somewhat (though there's still plenty of room on the face anyway...provided you don't mind looking like a freak...)
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Eyeless Blond
post Apr 20 2005, 01:58 PM
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Well, as I understand it the thermosense organs are non-directional, sorta in the way that your ears are nondirectional. You can sorta-kinda figure out what direction the sound is coming from by using both ears together, but it's nothing like the array of detectors you have in the eye. Thermosense organs are interpreted more like hearing is, IMO, than vision, though placing them below the ears is a stupid place to put them as that's one of the warmest pats of the body. the tops of the ears would actually be far better, or maybe the backs of your fingertips?

Anyway, thermo as vision would look really odd, as it would either have to be an overlay (which, as you wouldn't be able to remove it would suck) or it would be a series of completely new colors (which would be *really* distracting, for a long time.)
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hermit
post Apr 20 2005, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE
Also I wasn't aware that goldfish saw into the infrared. I Googled and came up with some items suggesting that they actually see 4 wavelengths of red, green, blue, and ultraviolet (humans typically only see 3 of those, our corneas actually filter out ultraviolet). Ultraviolet is on the opposite side of the visible light spectrum from infrared, and they aren't the only animals able to see in that spectrum. For example bees do.

Many animals see ultraviolet (all birds, most insects, most fish), it's another feat the so-called pinnacle of creation (us) lost. I wasn't aware that have infravison, though. Fascinating, thanks for the article!

They based it on the pit viper because these animals have been found to have the most precise IR 'vision' known, at least among land animals. On a side note, a bird's magnetic field vision and UV vision could be interesting to make into vision enhancements, too.
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Demosthenes
post Apr 20 2005, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
Well, as I understand it the thermosense organs are non-directional, sorta in the way that your ears are nondirectional.

Well, your ears aren't as good at determining direction because they're mounted at 90 degrees to each other.
If, on the other hand, you stuck the thermosense organs on the cheekbone below the eye (which would still be a pretty warm part of the body, but hey, why not), they wouldn't provide you with that handy 360-degree thermal sense...but you should find it a great deal easier to judge direction and distance using them.

Cats are able to angle their ears so they both point in the same direction, and that makes their hearing considerably more 'directional' than ours...

Thinking about it, this is a similar difference to the one between those animals (most grazers, for example) that have excellent peripheral vision, and the ones with binocular vision (primates and virtually all mammalian predators, frex).

Damn you trigonometry, it's all your fault! :silly:
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wagnern
post Apr 20 2005, 02:15 PM
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Right, somewhere on the ear lobes would be best, have some distance from the body to insulate it.

Mostly I think they were desprate for a bioware sence upgrade besides the cat's eyes. Let's face it, bioware is lacking in the sence department. Although I was suprised by the lack of simple enhanced sences such as encreasing the number of recepters in the nose exc.
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Nikoli
post Apr 20 2005, 02:54 PM
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I think the EM detection ability of sharks or the magnetic vision of birds, as suggested earlier would be very interesting.
Imagine if security personnel were living MADS detectors.
Imagine the boost to technicians to see the current flowing.

Also, the ears act not only as collectors for our hearing, they also serve as a heat sink, withthe skin so thin we loose a lot of heat, or at least have the potential to. Perhaps that is why the thermosense organs are there as opposed to anywhere else, they can pipe the excess heat from the tissue surrounding the organs out through the ears.
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Edward
post Apr 20 2005, 03:08 PM
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I would be very surprised if any fish could seeing infra read, I thought water was opaque to those wavelengths

At the very least it would be of limited value as they live in an environment containing mostly cold blooded animals and a relatively uniform temperature.

The thermo sens organ is not intended to be sight, it provides an awareness of hot bodies (people) around you. Its placement below the ears provides an almost 360 degree sense but looses depth perception.

Edward
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hahnsoo
post Apr 20 2005, 03:41 PM
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QUOTE (Edward)
At the very least it would be of limited value as they live in an environment containing mostly cold blooded animals and a relatively uniform temperature.

Goldfish aren't exactly the most well-adapted of animals. All it takes is a little kid shaking the plastic baggie, and they're going to that Great Aquarium in the Sky. :D
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Nikoli
post Apr 20 2005, 04:08 PM
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Well, think of the scale. Imagine if somethin 70 meter's tall shook your car around like young children are apt to do with their 1st through 15th goldfish, how would you fair?
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toturi
post Apr 20 2005, 04:12 PM
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You can have thermosense even if you are Blind. Not something you can do with normal Thermal Vision.
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hahnsoo
post Apr 20 2005, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
Well, think of the scale. Imagine if somethin 70 meter's tall shook your car around like young children are apt to do with their 1st through 15th goldfish, how would you fair?

Actually, we had a turtle when I was growing up. We fed it goldfish on occasion. So the thought never occurred to me. :)
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Nikoli
post Apr 20 2005, 04:41 PM
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Fair enough, turtles I think will eat a dead fish just as readily as a live one. You were commenting on how un-adapted goldfish are, because they can die from being shaken. ZThat's not really a fair judge. Goldfish can also survive being in a small body of water that freezes solid, when it thaws, so do they and they often are unaffected (same can be said of scorpions).
I think for their natural environment, they are very well adapted. A plastic baggie in the hands of an exhuberant child is far from their natural environment.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 20 2005, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
Well, as I understand it the thermosense organs are non-directional, sorta in the way that your ears are nondirectional.

So not at all, basically. Ears are extremely good at directional positioning, all things considered; between the offset between the two ears and measuring the tiny delays and echoes of sound bouncing around in the folds of a single ear (it's not necessary to have both ears to get positional information, just like it isn't necessary to use both eyes to get depth information; it just helps a lot), ears are extremely directional.

~J
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Nikoli
post Apr 20 2005, 05:02 PM
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That's a good point. We take for granted the immense background processing that our brain in all it's parts does for and with our senses.

Example:
an experiment was done using a visor that would flip the images you perceive without changing the perceived depth. Result, the brain stops flipping the image so that what it receives matches the correlating gravity sensation felt by the inner ear.
When the visor was removed, the brain went back to normal, flipping the image.



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Kagetenshi
post Apr 20 2005, 05:05 PM
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Though to be fair, if that's the experiment I think it is, it took about a day before the correction started. Either way it's impressive.

~J
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Nikoli
post Apr 20 2005, 05:13 PM
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You are correct.
And, IIRC, NASA has determined, through mainly the hard way, that people with really good sense of balance and are not prione to motion sickness are going to have a horrendous time acclimating to weightlessness of space, because their brain is so dependant on the inner ear feeding them up and down info.
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hahnsoo
post Apr 20 2005, 05:44 PM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
Fair enough, turtles I think will eat a dead fish just as readily as a live one. You were commenting on how un-adapted goldfish are, because they can die from being shaken. ZThat's not really a fair judge. Goldfish can also survive being in a small body of water that freezes solid, when it thaws, so do they and they often are unaffected (same can be said of scorpions).
I think for their natural environment, they are very well adapted. A plastic baggie in the hands of an exhuberant child is far from their natural environment.

*sigh* It was a joke? As denoted by the smileys in both of my messages? :D
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