why study neurology?

Nick Medford nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk
Wed Jan 16 20:50:25 EST 2002


In article <43525ce3.0201160219.388dacbf at posting.google.com>, mat
<mats_trash at hotmail.com> writes
>> 
>> If you were able to view a functional MRI scan of someone's leg while
>> they were performing a kicking action, would that "define" the action?
>> Would it (for example) tell you anything whatsoever about the
>> motivations for the action?? (e.g. kicking a football vs. kicking another
>> person?)   Of course not. Similarly, scanning someone's brain while they
>> are performing a memory task will inform you about the neural circuitry
>> involved in that task. But it will not in some mysterious way "define"
>> memory or the experience of remembering.
>> 
>
>IMHO you are making category mistakes

Yes, I accept that the leg example doesn't work very well for that reason.

> all over the place and hiding
>dualism within your language. 

I am not a dualist, at least according to my understanding of the term, but
I have posted separately about that.

> I never said how chemical systems
>defined us, just that they did.

No, come on, you said more than that. What you actually said was:

> >).  SSRIs for depression and agents affecting the dopaminergic
> >systems for schizophrenia have shown how these chemical systems in
> >concert with others define 'us'. 

So you didn't tell us the "how", but you *did* claim that we already have
the knowledge of the "how". This was what I called a "truly wild claim". 


>  In your fMRI example: if you could
>interpet an fMRI of a leg then yes indeed you could discern whether
>someone was making a kicking action.  When you say does it give you
>any motivation, well no that would be in the brain but I know what
>you're getting at.  The problem is you are constantly objecting with
>subjectivity.  'Motivation' in this example.  My whole conception of
>the brain is that motivation has no meaning beyond the neural patterns
>of sensory, memory and emotion which integrated to cause the action of
>kicking.  Further what do you mean by contingent? If the processes of
>molecular biology are not enough, then what constitutes this missing
>part?

I think really these are the same questions as elsewhere, so I refer you to
another post which I am just about to send.

-- 
Nick Medford




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