kirisutogomen: (Default)
Just because someone with an fMRI has discovered that X produces a response in a reward circuit of the brain does not mean that X is addictive. Everything we gain pleasure or satisfaction from is producing a response in a reward circuit, because that's what pleasure and satisfaction is.

More generally, just because we can identify some anatomical feature in the brain with some behavioral characteristic does not make that "hardwired" in the sense of being immutable or inherent or intrinsic. This is because our brains are not computers, with a neat division between hardware and software. Our hardware is our software. Everything that happens to you changes your brain anatomically, because that is the only way we have of doing it. Your memories, your knowledge, your personality, everything about you that lasts more than 15 seconds, is carved into the structure of your neural network, and therefore any lasting change in you is a lasting change in your anatomy. So when someone announces that they've found evidence that political orientation or sexual orientation or anger or a sweet tooth is associated with "actual differences in your brain itself", you should slap that person and say "of course it does you idiot, how else could it possibly be?"
kirisutogomen: (Default)
For all those who so enjoyed my earlier post, here's a "debate" including our favorite "research psychologist", Aric Sigman. The mealymouthed prevarication is astounding.

kirisutogomen: (Megiddo hockey)
This is awesome.
kirisutogomen: (NGC 4631)
A really stellar example of the state of science journalism today.

I don't even know where to begin.

I wouldn't blame them if the families of the young Bridgend men and women who have killed themselves marched up to the offices of the Daily Express and burned them to the fucking ground.

Ugh.
kirisutogomen: (Default)
One more, and then I'll stop.

This Is Your Brain on Politics

I find this especially heinous, because it wasn't written by journalists, but by respected scientists. (Iacoboni has done useful work on mirror neurons.)

A far more moderate and restrained response than I would have written is a guest post on the Neuroethics & Law Blog.
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How to Good-Bye Depression
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How big is your crockus?

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