[Neuroscience] Re: Looking for
onlineorebookneurosciencedictionaries or encyclopedias
Glen M. Sizemore
gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 14 15:00:39 EST 2006
KK: I am sorry, Glen. We would simply need to disagree on cognitive
neuroscience. It is the recent shift to "cognitive neuroscience of emotion"
that, a logical one, has produced especially great amount of understanding
how the brain works (or how even more complex it is) adding to the
understanding of the "central" element, the one between overt behaviors.
GS: In my opinion we are about at the level where we can more-or-less
completely explain habituation of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia.
Physiology intervenes between exposures to the environment and the behavior
that results from those changes, but the concepts of cognitive "science" are
simply explanatory fictions.
KK: On another hand, the recent advances in neuroimaging, an important
augmentation of a "pure" cognitive neuroscience, produced what I personally
see as a rare occasion when true translational and integrative research has
become actually possible.
GS: Imaging is a feat of physics and engineering. It has nothing to do with
cognitive "science." Cognitive "science" loves it, of course, because they
are in the business of explaining the behavior of a person in terms of what
amounts to indwelling spirits, which they assert will ultimately be found to
be "physiological." Thus when an area "lights up" it seems like explanation.
"Oh! That's where the executive is!" "Oh! That's where the little indwelling
spirit reads the 'cognitive map.'"
KK: How else, just to give a good example, Williams et
al would come up with such a neat research on subliminal processing? Or how
would it possible to expect the outcomes of, say, Chris Frith's research on
delusion (passivity phenomena) without the cognitive neuroscience paradigms
and methods and experimental design? I am just at loss when reading your
confirmation that, indeed, you see no value in cognitive neuroscience,
although I agree that a non-discriminate use of the "null hypothesis" and
statistics in general is a problem. But aren't the peer-reviewed publication
process is there to watch any trespassing of the methodological principles?
GS: First, tell me about the research you are talking about (and bear in
mind that what I am criticizing the conceptual structure of cognitive
"science."). As to the last question, "no," but I don't intend right now to
launch a criticism of methodology. The conceptual problems with cognitive
"science" are so overwhelming that all other issues should take a back seat.
KK: What I can see is the fact that we are actually very close to
the old and the new schools as some now obscure notions, of a reflex, as in
Pavlov, for instance, can be explained in great detail, mainly because of
the input from cognitive neuroscience.
GS: Are you saying that we can, for example, say exactly what is going on
when we establish, say, a so-called conditioned emotional response in a rat?
That is nonsense. We are not even close.
KK: This is what I find a bit exciting
lately, in neuroscience. A bit neurvous, but I would add that I am very
happy that some recent research in cognitie neuroscience of emotion (what a
weird way to say things!) provide very neat evidence that the old guy Freud
GS: Freud was right about a couple of things but his mental models were
KK: May be my position would be more clear if I'd say that I'd rather see
convergence of paradigms into a lesser number of conceptualizations. I'd add
though that we must include if not re-imbrace classic behaviorism concepts.
If a very profoud clinical impact of cognitive behavioral therapy is not an
evidence it is happening then I am really missing here something, although,
in my view the CBT is re-packaging of behaviorism.
GS: There is no question about CBT. It only seems not to be behaviorism
because most people do not know that radical behaviorism places a lot of
emphasis on self-talk, imagining, etc.
KK: As to Russian behaviorism. You are right in one sense, but wrong in the
other. Pavlovian behaviorism was largely physiological science rather than
GS: Nonsense. There was some manipulation of the brain, but Pavlov's work
involved manipulating the environment and measuring behavior. That is
analyzing behavior at the behavioral level. He talked about the brain a lot,
but the work is most famous for is purely behavioral.
KK: The consequent to Stalin's death psychology development, the
Soviet psychology was a completely different pot of soup, some of which was
actually very good.
GS: Well, it is unlikely that we will agree upon what is "good."
"konstantin kouzovnikov" <myukhome at hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:mailman.239.1152901708.20007.neur-sci at net.bio.net...
>I am sorry, Glen. We would simply need to disagree on cognitive
>neuroscience. It is the recent shift to "cognitive
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