Humour & Neural Networks

Administrador del Nodo Postmaster at neubio.sld.ar
Sat Nov 11 16:28:53 EST 1995


Hello, netters!
                 Philip Dorrell <p at dorrell.demon.co.uk>
has an e-mail address from which I found bounced back my three
mails, formerly posted to this List, that I today copied to 
Philip in case he is not a habitual reader of our exchanges.
(They were the two mails on hylozoism and a former one with
the excerpta from Prof. Crocco's work). But the interesting
points he raises surely deserve public comment.

                 The fronto-orbitary alterations in humour
(concomitant with other syndromes) are well-known from
the thesis of Leonore Welt, Ueber Charakteraenderungen des
Menschen infolge von Laesionen des Stirnhirns, Thesis (Zu-
rich), Deutsche Arch. f. Klin. Mediz. 42, 339 ff., 1888;
see especially pages 385-386. You can profitably consult
Juan Carlos Goldar's "Neocortex ventral", in Acta Psiquia-
trica psicologica de America latina 37, pp. 8 ff., 1991
and J.C. Goldar and D.L. Outes, "Fisiopatologia de la des-
inhibicion instintiva", same journal vol. 18, pp. 177 ff., 
1972. 

                The central classical studies on this sub-
ject are related with psychopathic personalities, such as
very cold killers and torturers of which we have some at
hand here in this neuropsychiatric hospital.  Some of them
seem to believe that they are, indeed, persons.  But the
remaining people, in their opinion. no. Please try for a
moment to imagine this failure in empathy.  Fancy for a mo-
ment that you are the only, sole and lonely person in the
universe and that all the remaining people walking around
form a population of robots, deambulating neural networks
or statues in motion.  Torture would be understandable as a
mean to excruciate a communication; this was told to us by
one of such killers, Robledo Puch "the assasin of Panameri-
can Road" who, to obtain any response evincing that he was
not alone, among other unelegant resources put a soldering
iron to work on the face of such (firmly laced) "statues" 
while furiously asked them if they "feel somethin'". 

          The studies by our Profs. Goldar and Outes are illu-
minating regarding these supraorbitary-temporal disconnection
patients, that Karl Kleist and most German psychiatrists
appropriately dubbed as "cool of soul"; K. Kleist magistral
depictions are in his Gehirnpathologie (Barth, Leipzig,
1934) and, for the general framing of his concepts, see his
"Bericht ueber die Gehirnpathologie in ihrer Bedeutung fur
Neurologie u. Psychiatrie", in Zeitschr. ges. Neurol. Psy-
chiatr. 158, pp. 159 ff., 1937.  Also some previous notices
in C. von Monakow Gehirnpathologie (H. Nothnagel, Hdbuch.
Specielle Pathol. u. Therapie IX, Band 1, 1897).

             The matter is complicated by some gnoseologic
issues, but some cultural traditions, as the Pythagoric-
Parmenidean way of thought, have been connected with these
neuropathologic propensions. At least one of its most known
representatives, Edmund Husserl, devoted his whole V Carte-
sianische Meditation of 1931 (widely republished; i.e., M.
Nijhoff, The Hague, 1973) to how acquiring the certainty that
usually neurophysiology ought to provide (see also Jose Or-
tega y Gassett, "La Percepcion del Projimo", in Teoria de
Andalucia y otros ensayos (Revista de Occidente, Madrid,
1952).

             But this malfunctioning of the empathy towards
neighbors' feelings has no difference with the links towards
internal objects of the own psychism; this connects both
groups of mechanisms (towards neighbors and towards oneself:
both are emotional links towards INTRAMENTAL objects, with
different extramental allusions). 

             In this regard, the promotion of personalities
(affected in this mechanism) by the Pythagoric-Parmenidean 
tradition, in the Greek Puritanism and in the promotion of
the syncretic myth that contemns hylozoism and reduces the
brain psychogenetic processes to kinetizable neural networks,
was also studied recently in our tradition (see Prof. Crocco's
"Struggling against Time: The folk precedents of modern scien-
ce's mathematizing tradition and the differentiation of the
Pythagoric-Parmenidean worldview" in Folia Neurobiologica Ar-
gentina VI, pp 12-76, 1988). So it is most remarkable that a
neural-networker, as Philip Dorrell presents himself, upon 
studies accomplished amid such structuralistic framework, arrived
to connect these processes with cultic adhesions.  I wish to
congratulate him for such a deep intuition!

	     But the study of the uncinate or like disconnections
of fronto-supraorbitary and temporal/parahippocampal regions, can
not be accomplished without a hylozoistic depiction of the mecha-
nisms producing the subjective, one-witness non-structural cha-
racterizations sensed as the different feelings involved. This
study is just what our cultural preventions forbide, upon said
tradition that selectively promoted puritanic and rigourous per-
sonalities, and that is why I tried to send Philip the short
postings (all bounced back) on hylozoism I formerly affixed to 
this list.

              Hoping to continue exchanges on this most inter-
esting subject, let me now post my
                 Cyberkisses for everybody!
                              Mariela


 

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       Prof. Mariela Szirko,
       <postmaster at neubio.sld.ar> 
                            
       Centro de Investig. Neurobiologicas, Ministry
       of Health & Welfare, Argentine Republic; and Lab. of
       Electroneurobiological Res., Hospital "Dr. Jose Tiburcio Borda", 
       Municipality of Buenos Aires,
       Office:  Phone/Fax (54 1) 306 -7314
                e-mail <postmaster at neubio.gov.ar>
       Standard disclaimer: Las opiniones de este mensaje son personales 
      y no comprometen las dependencias a cargo de la firmante.
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