[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

J.A.Legris via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by jalegris from sympatico.ca)
Fri Jul 20 08:27:36 EST 2007

On Jul 19, 12:04 pm, "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemo... from yahoo.com> wrote:
> "John H." <bingb... from goaway.com.au> wrote in message
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> > "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemo... from yahoo.com> wrote in message
> >news:469cbd3c$0$14594$ed362ca5 from nr2.newsreader.com...
> >> "Michael Olea" <ol... from sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> >>news:tN2ni.20912$Rw1.14360 from newssvr25.news.prodigy.net...
> >> > Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> >> >> "John H." <bingb... from goaway.com.au> wrote in message
> >> >>news:139opshgf84mj6c from corp.supernews.com...
> >> >>> More Technical but he is a king in this area: Joseph Le doux: The
> >> >>> Emotional
> >> >>> Brain.
> >> >> And what a clever start; a title that is a category error.
> >> > What he actually studies, though, is the physiology of classical
> >> > conditioning. At least that's what he describes in "The Synaptic Self".
> >> But a cursory look shows how he contributes to the conceptual muddle.
> > Perhaps more correctly his publisher. Book titles are marketing devices,
> > applying literalism to the same is like expecting peace in the Middle
> > East.
> > The text is an excellent introduction on fear conditioning and it
> > neurobiological underpinnings.
> I was referring to a lot of the things he says in interviews etc. Like a lot
> of what passes for neuroscience, the facts can be divorced from the
> underlying conceptualizations, but I think it is true - as I have repeatedly
> made clear - that neuroscience is contaminated by mainstream psychology and
> this makes many of the questions it asks literal nonsense. The so-called
> "binding problem" is a good example, but for a million more see Bennett and
> Hacker (this also counters your claim that it is a matter of book
> publishers - the mereological fallacy is rampant in neuroscience). One thing
> that certainly got my dander up was Le doux's claim that he is looking for a
> neurobiological treatment, not a psychological one. This is pure nonsense.
> The facts to be explained "fear conditioning" ARE psychological facts.
> Indeed, there is no neurobiological understanding of behavior even possible
> without first having psychology lay out what is to be explained. No doubt he
> thinks that "psychology" must involve touchy-feely mental crap, but this
> can't be used as an excuse. Of course, one of the things I detest about him
> is that what he says reflects total unfamiliarity with the science of
> behavior as it has existed for at least 70 years. This is hardly unique to
> him, but is, in fact, a general symptom of mainstream psychology and th
> fileds it has corrupted. For example, his statement about feelings and
> emotion in some ways reflect what Skinner asserted vociferously for more
> than 50 years. Relatedly, his view that the "ability to feel" is largely due
> to natural selection is also something I hate. Depending on how you look at
> it, the notion is either trivial or wrong.* And since I see cognitive
> "science" as one big crock of shit, his view that "emotions and cognition"
> need to be integrated does not sit well with me. I know, of course, that my
> position is the minority opinion - to say the least. I'm not saying that
> some of what he talks about is a contribution but, rather, that he is one
> more loud mouth dolt that contributes to the monumental conceptual nightmare
> that is mainstream psychology and the fields it has corrupted.
> *There is the view that responding to one's own behavior is a product of
> contingencies of reinforcement. This view leads, in fact, to an animal model
> of self-awareness and feelings. This can lead, in turn, to a physiology of
> awareness and feelings.

Baum suggests that some behaviour analysts do not see themselves as
psychologists at all. Sounds like a quick fix for your own mental
problems. Once you have achieved a measure of calm, consider the
possibility that all science is more or less "contaminated",
conceptually muddy, and frequently wrong. The quality that
distinguishes science from dogma, doctrine, superstition or simple BS
is not purity, it is falsifiability.


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