Study Shows The Main Problem With Brain Research

Now we find the ‘call for help’ process requires two parts of the brain, the ‘detecting and responding to threats’ part and the ‘reaching goals and attaching to others’ part.
Published March 8, 2004, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have observed something the brain results in and imparted the cause upon its result. In “Two brain systems regulate how we call for help – Study" [1] monkeys were used to find the emotional causes of emotions.

And this is what is wrong with neuroscience today.

The brain does many things. It has one method of doing many things. It results in many observable outcomes. NOT ONE of those outcomes is caused by the outcome. But that won’t stop researchers from imposing what they see on what they are looking at.

"The brain systems found to be involved were the amygdala [Comment: where long term memory is processed], which is important in detecting and responding to threats [Comment: but is actually where reactions are outputted for motion], and the right prefrontal cortex [where short-term memory is processed], which plays a role in reaching goals and attaching to others. [Comment: but is actually where proactions are outputted for motion]." [1]

"In monkeys and humans, it’s natural to seek help from supportive individuals during trying times." [1] And what in the world does that have to do with how the brain causes that to occur? Nothing!

"Indeed, calling for help can be crucial to survival, says", “Ned Kalin, senior author on the study and chair of psychiatry at UW Medical School", “a psychiatrist who has studied fear and social attachment in monkeys for two decades in an attempt to better understand anxiety and depression in humans."

Then he has spent far too much time with monkeys.

To understand anxiety and depression in humans it helps to understand how the brain works at all, let alone what happens when reactive memory outputs while proactive memory watches it happen. That would be the cause of both. (The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing, available free for download explains both, as does Modern Mysticism.)

"The UW researchers wanted to know what brain systems determine why one individual is very comfortable expressing a need for help while another is much more restrained." [1]

Would it not have been a far more logical desire to find out what brain FUNCTION is doing what part of the system? Of course not. Researchers are not interested in how it works, only in where it is happening. That way, they can place the infamous ‘center’ mark on their favorite malady.

"The scans showed that animals that called the most had more activity in the right prefrontal cortex and less in the amygdala. In contrast, those monkeys that called less frequently had less prefrontal cortex activity and more amygdala activity." [1]

At least the researchers were studying a species with a short-term memory process. OF COURSE those who ‘called the most’ were using short-term processing to do it and those who ‘called less’ were NOT using short-term processing to do it.

Humans suffer the same thing. Most humans (and sadly most psychiatric researchers) depend upon long-term memory reactionary functions to exist in a world where little changes, advances come only in relation to previous advances and new things are shunned as not fitting the norm.

When a human is controlled by long-term reactionary memory processes they react to every ‘trigger’ that happens to disagree with their norm. The more disagreement the greater the reaction. When that reaction happens quickly and without ‘conscious’ awareness (the closed loop short-term in humans) once becoming ‘aware’ of that reaction, anxiety sets in at being unable to stop it and depressions sets in when short-term has given up on trying.

"’Simply measuring brain activity in these two regions allowed us to predict with nearly 80 percent accuracy how much each individual monkey called for help,’ says Kalin. The researchers were somewhat surprised to find reduced activity in the amygdalas of the most vocal animals, since increased amygdala activity is associated with fear and stressful states. It would be logical to expect that the animals that were most vocal would also be the most frightened." [1]

Not so. It takes aural long term processing to be ‘vocal’. If the researchers bothered to check the gender of those monkeys making the responses they might find a correlation. Long-term memory that is visual (typical female) is quite different than the male’s long-term aural memory.

"The situation may be very similar for humans, Kalin says, and may provide a framework for understanding differences in emotional expressivity." [1]

No it won’t. Not with the attention paid to what happens instead of what causes it to happen.

But that is what brain research is all about today. It is no different than phrenology. We may as well paint the centers on our heads and just point to the location we want to convey.

Either that, or we can stop imposing upon the observed what is observed and declaring it to be worth anything.

References:
[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=20898