Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

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Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#21  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 15, 2014 3:11 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
EDIT: I think you are just playing with words, like "like".

We're like ants in that we're DNA propagated biological entities which do stuff. We're quite like chimps too. Quite a lot in common when it comes to the fundamental questions.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#22  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 15, 2014 3:12 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I'm a determinist. People need to be held responsible for their actions in order for society to function but ultimately it's purely environmental and genetic influences which determine our behaviour; neither of which are within our control. It's the biggest joke on the planet as I keep re-iterating but there we have it.


But then you can't really blame the people that blame others, can you?

Indeed not. Can't blame nobody for nothin'.

What about the Mafia bosses? Do you see them as innocent, too?

Guilty, but not ultimately responsible. The word "innocent" does have a meaning.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#23  Postby orpheus » Jul 15, 2014 3:20 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:I think there is some good discussion on the social effects of describing mental disorders as a biogenetic problem but to me it seems like there is an elephant in the room as to why we shouldn't be describing them as such: because it's factually wrong. Even if it turned out that describing them as being caused by biogenetic factors improved stigma or something else, I'd still argue that we shouldn't do so simply because I think there are harms to promoting known falsehoods.


Mental disorders as a biogenetic problem: "factually wrong", "known falsehood."

Evidence for this?
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#24  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 15, 2014 3:21 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Shrunk wrote:

But then you can't really blame the people that blame others, can you?

Indeed not. Can't blame nobody for nothin'.

What about the Mafia bosses? Do you see them as innocent, too?

Guilty, but not ultimately responsible. The word "innocent" does have a meaning.

Of course the word, "innocent" has a meaning, but the corollary of that is that the word, "guilty" also does. Your use of the word, "responsible" is deceptive here, because it can mean either simply "actually did it" OR "deliberately did it".
EDIT: Indeed, if you were correct, the word, "innocent" would have no meaning at all - it would be automatically true. In that case, there would be no need for the word at all.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#25  Postby Asta666 » Jul 15, 2014 3:36 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Indeed not. Can't blame nobody for nothin'.

What about the Mafia bosses? Do you see them as innocent, too?

Guilty, but not ultimately responsible. The word "innocent" does have a meaning.

Of course the word, "innocent" has a meaning, but the corollary of that is that the word, "guilty" also does. Your use of the word, "responsible" is deceptive here, because it can mean either simply "actually did it" OR "deliberately did it".
EDIT: Indeed, if you were correct, the word, "innocent" would have no meaning at all - it would be automatically true. In that case, there would be no need for the word at all.

I don't think that bringing blame and guilt into the discussion will make things more clear.
Someone can be said to be responsible in the sense of being the agent of an action. The distinction between a "deliberate" action and a "not deliberate" one, to me is fictitious. Ofc, we might know more conclusively the cause of an action in a certain case than in another, but that does not constitute evidence that the latter was "deliberate" and the former wasn't.
The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#26  Postby kennyc » Jul 15, 2014 3:49 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I'm a determinist. People need to be held responsible for their actions in order for society to function but ultimately it's purely environmental and genetic influences which determine our behaviour; neither of which are within our control. It's the biggest joke on the planet as I keep re-iterating but there we have it.


But then you can't really blame the people that blame others, can you?


Damn that infinite recursion! :lol:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#27  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 15, 2014 3:51 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Of course the word, "innocent" has a meaning, but the corollary of that is that the word, "guilty" also does. Your use of the word, "responsible" is deceptive here, because it can mean either simply "actually did it" OR "deliberately did it".
EDIT: Indeed, if you were correct, the word, "innocent" would have no meaning at all - it would be automatically true. In that case, there would be no need for the word at all.

Guilt and innocence are a matter for the law, and for judging what you think of somebody. Like I said, people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though ultimately they are not.

Asta666 wrote:The distinction between a "deliberate" action and a "not deliberate" one, to me is fictitious.

I agree 90% except that if an action isn't deliberate it may be passed off as not being a result of that person's brain, and therefore permissible (eg. leaving a boiled kettle accidentally within reach of an infant whilst on the phone). That's only in relation to innocence and guilt however and so is tertiary.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#28  Postby kennyc » Jul 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Here's the reason I mention quantum fluctuations. If something is sufficiently small even if eventually proven to be deterministic, the macro level unpredictability which results from individual or conglomerate fluctuations can result in non-deterministic behavior. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#29  Postby Asta666 » Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

kennyc wrote:Here's the reason I mention quantum fluctuations. If something is sufficiently small even if eventually proven to be deterministic, the macro level unpredictability which results from individual or conglomerate fluctuations can result in non-deterministic behavior. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

WTF that has to do with anything? Unless you can provide some real evidence -instead of these "metaphysical meditations"- not knowing the cause of an action is not evidence in favour of the claim that it is deliberate, the result of free will, quantum fluctuations or whatever the fuck you are dreaming about.
The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#30  Postby kennyc » Jul 15, 2014 4:11 pm

It has everything to do with what is being discussed -- determinism vs non-determinism.

:rofl:

Let me put it this way, how the fuck much do you know about the movement of electrons along a conductive or ion channel? :lol:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#31  Postby kennyc » Jul 15, 2014 4:14 pm

It has less to do with Aliens being bused to Roswell, maybe that's what you are thinking or Astra. :D

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigr ... as-n155606
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#32  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 15, 2014 4:29 pm

Keep It Real wrote:...
Guilt and innocence are a matter for the law, and for judging what you think of somebody. Like I said, people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though ultimately they are not.

...

The bit I've bolded for you needs attention. Please justify this strange claim. It seems to come back to your claim that we make decisions as if we were ants.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#33  Postby LucidFlight » Jul 15, 2014 5:01 pm

At a very early stage, my parents knew that, genetically-speaking, I would turn out to be a human being ― not just any human, though, but a human afflicted with the condition known as being Scottish. Their suspicions would eventually be realised when I first gazed upon the world and let oot the wee scream of highland warrior.

During childhood, it became more and more obvious that I had developed a thick Scottish accent and liking for bridies and pork pies. It took many years of therapy, visiting specialists and doctors in foreign lands, to try and rectify many of the difficulties of communication I had to endure, simply because of the way I spoke.

Eventually, with much coaching and guidance, I was able to speak normally and communicate just like the other, non-Scottish people around me. Utterances of "Alreet pal?" became "Hello. How are you?" and "Oi! Whatyehinkyerdain?" became "I say! What is it that you think you are doing?"

With much work, I developed a liking for hot dogs and hamburgers, no longer needing to satiate a desire for black pudding and stovies. People no longer gave me strange looks in public when I spoke. I was able to order meals and drinks correctly and buy various goods and services available to normal people. This is my story of how I overcame my genetic pre-disposition. I hope that you may share it with those who you know or think might be similarly afflicted. Please use this information wisely for the benefit of those whom you love.

Sincerely
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#34  Postby kennyc » Jul 15, 2014 5:17 pm

Yep, I'd call that a chemical imbalance fer sure!
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#35  Postby Arnold Layne » Jul 15, 2014 5:20 pm

kennyc wrote:Yep, I'd call that a chemical imbalance fer sure!

And he claims he's been cured!!! Oh yeah!! :crazy:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#36  Postby Mr.Samsa » Jul 15, 2014 10:49 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I'm a determinist. People need to be held responsible for their actions in order for society to function but ultimately it's purely environmental and genetic influences which determine our behaviour; neither of which are within our control. It's the biggest joke on the planet as I keep re-iterating but there we have it.


But then you can't really blame the people that blame others, can you?

Indeed not. Can't blame nobody for nothin'.


Even though this is going a little off-topic, you can still accept the concepts of responsibility and blame as a hard determinist - they just don't necessarily carry the full implications of the terms as they're normally used. In other words, if someone breaks the law due to some determining factors, then they are still responsible (i.e. to blame) for that crime, in the same way that if a faulty wire burns down my house it is responsible (i.e. to blame) for the damage caused.

orpheus wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I think there is some good discussion on the social effects of describing mental disorders as a biogenetic problem but to me it seems like there is an elephant in the room as to why we shouldn't be describing them as such: because it's factually wrong. Even if it turned out that describing them as being caused by biogenetic factors improved stigma or something else, I'd still argue that we shouldn't do so simply because I think there are harms to promoting known falsehoods.


Mental disorders as a biogenetic problem: "factually wrong", "known falsehood."

Evidence for this?


There are more components to mental disorders than simply biological and genetic factors. This is why the mental health field practically unanimously agrees on the biopsychosocial model of mental disorder which includes social and psychological factors as causes of mental disorders. The fact that a simple biogenetic model is wrong can be evidenced by the failure of the chemical imbalance theory of mental disorders and its ultimate rejection from the field.

The point being that you can develop mental disorders with a completely healthy and 'normal' functioning brain. If you put a genetically stellar group of babies through homes that were abusive, unstimulating, terrifying, deprived of love and human contact, etc, then you'll inevitably find that many of them start displaying symptoms of various disorders, like depression, social anxiety, phobias, and so on.

There is no conceptual or empirical reason to think that a biogenetic model could work at all. Neuroskeptic has a good article that discusses a very similar topic here: Brain Scans Prove that Brain Does Stuff, and Massimo Pigliucci has a more indepth discussion here: Mismeasure of Neuroscience.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#37  Postby kennyc » Jul 17, 2014 12:27 pm

Something I ran across today:

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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#38  Postby orpheus » Jul 18, 2014 1:55 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I'm a determinist. People need to be held responsible for their actions in order for society to function but ultimately it's purely environmental and genetic influences which determine our behaviour; neither of which are within our control. It's the biggest joke on the planet as I keep re-iterating but there we have it.


But then you can't really blame the people that blame others, can you?

Indeed not. Can't blame nobody for nothin'.


Even though this is going a little off-topic, you can still accept the concepts of responsibility and blame as a hard determinist - they just don't necessarily carry the full implications of the terms as they're normally used. In other words, if someone breaks the law due to some determining factors, then they are still responsible (i.e. to blame) for that crime, in the same way that if a faulty wire burns down my house it is responsible (i.e. to blame) for the damage caused.

orpheus wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I think there is some good discussion on the social effects of describing mental disorders as a biogenetic problem but to me it seems like there is an elephant in the room as to why we shouldn't be describing them as such: because it's factually wrong. Even if it turned out that describing them as being caused by biogenetic factors improved stigma or something else, I'd still argue that we shouldn't do so simply because I think there are harms to promoting known falsehoods.


Mental disorders as a biogenetic problem: "factually wrong", "known falsehood."

Evidence for this?


There are more components to mental disorders than simply biological and genetic factors. This is why the mental health field practically unanimously agrees on the biopsychosocial model of mental disorder which includes social and psychological factors as causes of mental disorders. The fact that a simple biogenetic model is wrong can be evidenced by the failure of the chemical imbalance theory of mental disorders and its ultimate rejection from the field.

The point being that you can develop mental disorders with a completely healthy and 'normal' functioning brain. If you put a genetically stellar group of babies through homes that were abusive, unstimulating, terrifying, deprived of love and human contact, etc, then you'll inevitably find that many of them start displaying symptoms of various disorders, like depression, social anxiety, phobias, and so on.

There is no conceptual or empirical reason to think that a biogenetic model could work at all. Neuroskeptic has a good article that discusses a very similar topic here: Brain Scans Prove that Brain Does Stuff, and Massimo Pigliucci has a more indepth discussion here: Mismeasure of Neuroscience.


I question a lot of what you've written here, but I'm extremely busy today, so for now I'll just ask this: do you think genes play any role here? If so, then how much of a role do they play?


Edit: clarity
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#39  Postby epepke » Jul 18, 2014 3:31 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:Even though this is going a little off-topic, you can still accept the concepts of responsibility and blame as a hard determinist - they just don't necessarily carry the full implications of the terms as they're normally used. In other words, if someone breaks the law due to some determining factors, then they are still responsible (i.e. to blame) for that crime, in the same way that if a faulty wire burns down my house it is responsible (i.e. to blame) for the damage caused.


If one is going to do social engineering, though, it would be nice to be honest about it. If one is going to use the concepts of responsibility and blame, then what is the point of doing so? What are you trying to accomplish?

One may think that using the concepts makes people do better things. On the other hand, one may just think that it's fun to punish people. With respect to the prison process, I think a lot of people just like to punish people, even though it makes things worse (such as by hardening otherwise pretty harmless criminals, like pot smokers). Or one may think any of a large number of other things. It would be nice to see this out in the open, though.

Your earlier comment about not believing in something because it's inaccurate is very interesting. It seems a bit different from what I thought your earlier position was. If I got you wrong, I apologize. I generally find it best to get accuracy nailed down pretty early in the thinking process.

I do have to say that the construction of mental orders, not only socially by the laity but by the professionals, smells very strongly of mythology. My observations of patients in short-term psychiatric facilities is that they follow a rule of 3. About a third have something that would be difficult to explain without recourse to some actual medical problem, however poorly understood. About a third are coming down off of a serious drug problem. About a third are pretty squarely within the normal range, even boringly mundane and well adjusted, but have had some bad shit going down. Or they were taken in by a cop who didn't want to deal with the paperwork at the station, or something like that.

In a way, I think that the category of mental disorders is quite bugged. I'm not sure why there's a category like this. You've got hundreds of disorders, along six axes, divided into numerous subcategories. It's not clear at all that there's much obvious commonality to them, except the observation that people sometimes behave funny without an obvious etiology. That latter part is important; when conditions get etiologies they aren't called mental disorders any more and fall out of the realm of psychiatry. It all seems very medieval to me. We know that some drugs work, sometimes staggeringly well, in the case of schizophrenia (if you're lucky enough to hit the right combination), and sometimes not very well, hovering around the level of placebo at best. There's not enough research about the effects of the belief in drugs IMO.

And then there's this, where some model isn't chosen because it works particularly well or at all or whether it describes reality, but on the basis of some sort of psychological guess about how it will affect social engineering. This I find very shaky, in particular because if one arrogates to know so much about psychology as to do effective social engineering, then surely it should be easier to cut to the chase and just treat people appropriately. Unless it's claptrap, of course, in which case the meta-psychology is almost tediously obvious.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#40  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 18, 2014 3:55 pm

epepke wrote:...

One may think that using the concepts makes people do better things. On the other hand, one may just think that it's fun to punish people. With respect to the prison process, I think a lot of people just like to punish people, even though it makes things worse (such as by hardening otherwise pretty harmless criminals, like pot smokers). ...


It seems like you have been watching Lexx! :lol:
The solution to the problem you mention above is for such people (the ones who "just like to punish people") to be kept out of the justice system.
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