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动物如何感受到疼痛? – 译学馆
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动物如何感受到疼痛?

How do animals experience pain? - Robyn J. Crook

人们知道一根针带来的令人惊讶的刺痛
Humans know the surprising prickof a needle,
踢伤脚趾带来的疼痛
the searing pain of a stubbed toe,
还有牙疼
and the throbbing of a toothache.
我们会识别多种类型的疼痛
We can identify many types of pain
而且治疗方法有很多种
and have multiple ways of treating it.
但是其他物种呢?
But what about other species?
我们周围的动物是如何感受疼痛的呢?
How do the animals all around usexperience pain?
弄清楚这个很重要
It’s important that we find out.
我们养动物作为宠物 它们丰富了我们的生活
We keep animals as pets, they enrich our environment,
我们饲养许多物种作为食物
we farm many species for food,
我们在实验中使用它们来促进科学和人类健康
and we use them in experiments to advance science and human health.
动物无疑对我们很重要
Animals are clearly important to us,
所以避免给他们带来不必要的痛苦也同样重要
so it’s equally important that we avoidcausing them unnecessary pain.
对于和我们相似的动物 像哺乳动物
For animals that are similar to us,like mammals,
他们疼痛的时候很明显
it’s often obvious when they’re hurting.
但是也有很多不明显的
But there’s a lot that isn’t obvious,
比如止痛药对它们是否像对我们一样有效
like whether pain relievers that workon us also help them.
一只动物和我们越不同
And the more different an animal is from us,
理解它们的感受就越难了
the harder it is to understand their experience.
你要怎么判断一只虾会不会痛呢?
How do you tell whether a shrimp is in pain?
一条蛇呢?
A snake?
一只蜗牛呢?
A snail?
在脊椎动物中 包括人类
In vertebrates, including humans,
疼痛可以被分割成两个不同的过程
pain can be splitinto two distinct processes.
首先 神经和皮肤感觉到危险
In first, nerves and the skin sense something harmful
并将这些信息传递给脊髓
and communicate that information to the spinal cord.
在那里 运动神经元受到刺激
There,motor neurons activate movements
使我们迅速抽离危险
that make us rapidly jerk away from the threat.
这是人体对伤害的一种意识 叫做痛觉
This is the physical recognition of harm called nociception,
几乎所有的动物 即使是那些神经系统非常简单的动物
and nearly all animals, even those with very simple nervous systems,
都有痛觉
experience it.
如果没有这种能力 动物就无法避免被伤害
Without this ability, animals would beunable to avoid harm
并且他们的生存将受到威胁
and their survival would be threatened.
第二部分是对危害的有意识认识
The second part is the conscious recognition of harm.
在人体上 皮肤中的感觉神经元
In humans, this occurs when the sensory neurons in our skin
会通过脊髓与大脑进行第二轮连接
make a second round of connections via the spinal cord to the brain.
在那里 位于多个区域的数百万个神经元产生痛觉
There, millions of neurons in multiple regions create the sensations of pain.
对我们来说
For us, this is a
这种复杂的感觉会形成恐惧 恐慌和压力的情绪
very complex experience associated with emotions like fear, panic,
而我们可以将这些情绪传达给他人
and stress, which we can communicate to others.
但要确切知道动物是如何感受这个这一部分过程
But it’s harder to know exactly how animals experience
就更难了
this part of the process
因为它们大多不能告诉我们它们的感受
because most them can’t show us what they feel.
但是 我们可以从动物的行为中看到线索
However,we get clues from observing how animals behave. Wild,
受伤的野生动物会处理自己的伤口
hurt animals are knownto nurse their wounds,
通过发出声音来表示它们的痛苦
make noises to show their distress,
并会隐藏它们自己
and become reclusive.
在实验室里
In the lab,
科学家们发现像鸡和老鼠这样的动物
scientists have discovered that animals like chickens and rats
在受伤时可以服用缓解疼痛的药物
will self-administer pain-reducing drugs if they’re hurting.
动物也会避开曾经让他们受伤的情况
Animals also avoid situations where they’ve been hurt before,
这表明它们意识到了危险
which suggests awareness of threats.
我们的研究可以使我们确信
We’ve reached the point that research has made us so sure
脊椎动物能够识别疼痛
that vertebrates recognize pain
因此在许多国家 不必要地伤害这些动物是违法的
that it’s illegal in many countries to needlessly harm these animals.
但是其他种类的动物 比如无脊椎动物呢?
But what about other types of animals like invertebrates?
这些动物没有受到法律保护
These animals aren’t legally protected,
部分原因是他们的行为更难解读
partly because their behaviors are harder to read.
我们可以对其中一些做出很好的猜测
We can make good guesses about some of them,
比如牡蛎 蠕虫和水母
like oysters, worms, and jellyfish.
这些动物要么缺少大脑
These are examples of animals that either lack a brain
要么只有一个非常简单的大脑
or have a very simple one.
因此牡蛎被喷到柠檬汁后
So an oyster may recoil when squirted
会因为产生了痛觉而立马缩回
with lemon juice for instance, because of nociception.
但是这样一个简单的神经系统
But with such a simple nervous system,
让这些动物不太可能感受到有意识的疼痛
it’s unlikely to experience the conscious part of pain.
然而 其他无脊椎动物要复杂得多
Other invertebrate animals are more complicated, though,
比如章鱼 它有一个复杂的大脑
like the octopus, which has a sophisticated brain
并且被认为是最聪明的无脊椎动物之一
and is thought to be one of the most intelligent invertebrate animals.
然而 在许多国家 人们一直有着活吃章鱼的习惯
Yet, in many countries, people continue the practice of eating live octopus.
我们也煮活的小龙虾 虾和螃蟹
We also boil live crayfish, shrimp, and crabs
尽管我们也不知道它们是如何受到影响的
even though we don’t really know how they’re affected either.
这带来了一个道德上的问题
This poses an ethical problem
因为我们可能给这些动物带来不必要的痛苦
because we may be causing these animals unnecessary suffering.
科学实验虽然有争议 但也给了我们一些线索
Scientific experimentation, though controversial, gives us some clues.
对寄居蟹的测试表明 如果被电击
Tests on hermit crabs show that they’ll leave an undesirable shell
它们就会离开品质不佳的壳
if they’re zapped with electricity
但如果壳的品质良好 它们就会留下
but stay if it’s a good shell.
章鱼原本可能会卷起
And octopi that may originally curl
受伤的手臂来保护自己
up an injured arm to protect it
但它可能会冒险用它来捕捉猎物
will risk using it to catch prey.
这表明这些动物会对感官输入做出价值判断
That suggests that these animals make value judgements around sensory input
而不仅仅是对伤害作出反射性反应
instead of just reacting reflexively to harm.
与此同时 有些螃蟹会在被电击后
Meanwhile, crabs have been known to repeatedly rub a spot on their bodies
会不断摩擦身体被电击的地方
where they’ve received an electric shock.
即便是海蛞蝓 也会在意识到
And even sea slugs flinch when they know they’re
自己将受到伤害的时候退缩
about to receive a noxious stimulus.
这意味着他们对身体感觉有一定的记忆
That means they have some memory of physical sensations.
关于动物的痛苦 我们还有很多需要了解
We still have a lot to learn about animal pain.
随着我们知识的增长
As our knowledge grows,
或许有一天
it may one day allow us to live
我们不再需要制造不必要的伤害了
in a world where we don’t cause pain needlessly.

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介绍了一些脊椎动物与无脊椎动物是如何感受疼痛的

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