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Neil Rickert rickert at cs.niu.edu
Wed Oct 28 23:02:21 EST 1998

flefever at ix.netcom.com(F. Frank LeFever) writes:
>In <717h0c$a93 at ux.cs.niu.edu> rickert at cs.niu.edu (Neil Rickert) writes:

>     It seems to me that it is Rickert who attacks strawmen: the       
>     interaction of genetic and environmental forces in development
>     is a truism; I doubt any of the 20,000 members of the Society for 
>     Neuroscience would argue otherwise, and I see nothing in the reply
>     he attacks that suggests otherwise.

I haven't said anything contrary to this.

>>>Again and again and again in the brain, topology is preserved.

>>Whatever that means.  Without defining your terms, this is quite

>     The term does not need definition for anyone familiar with the    
>     literature of developmental and functional neuroanatomy of the    
>     past half-century.

I'll take that as a way of your saying that you won't define
your terms either.

>>This is silly.  That medication can get to the brain is already
>>enough evidence.  Moreover, there it is well know that nutritional
>>disorders affect brain function.

>      Where to begin?  How to sort out the layers of confusion?        
>      Well...(starting at the top of the heap): it is useful to        
>      distinguish between things "reaching" the  brain and things      
>      actually "signalling" the brain.  One can "reach" the brain with 
>      an ice-pick, also with a spoken word; but the processes are quite
>      different.

This is completely silly.  The question was about things that could
affect the brain's development other than DNA and sensory signals.
If you don't think there is such a thing as foetal alcohol syndrome,
if you don't think nutrition can affect the brain, then say so
directly.  Don't try to deliberately misconstrue what was being

>      One wonders if Rickert knows anything at all about the vast      
>      literature on the blood-brain barrier, about active transport    
>      mechanisms, etc.  Yes, some medications pass the blood-brain     
>      barrier, many do not.  Pathology can sometimes cause "leaks" in  
>      the BBB, allowing things in which are otherwise excluded; one    
>      therapeutic strategy is to deliberately damage the barrier too   
>      allow temporary access by a medication otherwise excluded.

These are all quite irrelevant to the point.

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